Sunday, April 08, 2007

Yankees hire robots

Robert Dvorchak for the P-G, on 21st century baseball technology:

A computer like IBM's Deep Blue can be programmed to beat a grand master in chess. But no computer can throw a called strike by Jason Bay, can it?

Actually, there is a device called the ProBatter PX2 pitching simulator. Using patented technology, the machine projects a DVD-quality image of a real pitcher onto an 8x10-foot screen, either throwing from a windup or from the stretch. At the moment of release, an actual ball is fired through a small hole in the screen simulating fastballs, sliders, sinkers, cutters, curves and change-ups. The top speed is 100 mph.

The Yankees have purchased the system for their big league and minor league clubs.

Prediction: in twenty years, a retired Tracy will blissfully clown around with his Jose Hernandez and Mike Edwards simulators.

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