The baseball dugout goes wireless

Major League Baseball is finally getting rid of the corded phones that managers use to connect with the bullpen.

By Kim Peterson Jan 9, 2013 6:28PM
Credit: Paul Spinelli/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Caption: Nick Markakis #21 of the Baltimore Orioles talks on the dugout phone during the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 22, 2012The rest of the country may be mobile, but there was always one place you could count on seeing the old-fashioned corded phone: Major League Baseball.

That may soon change, however. The landline phones in baseball dugouts, those technological relics that managers still rely on to make bullpen calls, will soon be disconnected.

Managers will start to look like everyone else at the stadium, gabbing away on 4G smartphones. Major League Baseball has worked out a wireless sponsorship deal with T-Mobile USA to replace those dugout phones with Samsung Galaxy S III phones.

In yet another charming example of baseball's attachment to tradition, MLB never thought to ask for a new phone system even after a decade's worth of discussions with wireless carriers about sponsorships, The New York Times reported. But finally, the sport is moving into the 21st century.

"This is baseball's continued push into the digital age," said MLB executive Tim Brosnan, according to the Times.

But, in fitting momentum for a sport that still uses manual scoreboards in some parks, the rollout of the new technology will be slow. It's still unclear if each stadium will have wireless phones this year.

One key question for managers is whether the new T-Mobile phones will be as reliable as their corded ancestors. Any mobile phone user can tell you about disappearing bars and dropped connections. The last thing baseball wants is Jim Leyland screaming obscenities at his T-Mobile phone at a crucial point in the game.

There will be new rules governing the use of those phones, too, the Times reported. For example, managers won't be allowed to call the bullpen from the pitcher's mound. And it's probably best to stay away from "Angry Birds" during the game.

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Jan 10, 2013 2:04PM

As American as baseball, apple pie & SAMSUNG!?


DOH! Didnt think that one through! Too bad Apple you woulda fit right into the theme.

Jan 10, 2013 2:07AM
It is a sad day when providing Health Care to the public is a bad thing and underpaying your employees and denying them something as essential as Health Care coverage is a good thing.  We are quickly losing our souls.  Love and concern for our fellow human being is no longer the ethically right thing to do.  Instead look to increase your profit as much as you can and ignore the LIVELIHOOD of the very people who work their tails off to keep you in business.  Oh yes and by the way while you are at it, continue to blame it on OBAMACARE just BECAUSE HE CARES. HOW SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 9, 2013 8:45PM
Boycott all those MFers. Dont forget chic fill a.
Jan 9, 2013 8:40PM

Those are usually just intercom type calls that are usually secure lines...?

Now if they go wireless,.......Anyone could listen in..


What ever that was all about ??

Wendy hasn't been hot or juicy for quite awhile.

She's getting pretty old..

Jan 9, 2013 8:39PM
Jan 9, 2013 8:12PM

Wow! Thats good news. Now I really dont give a s!!! about it.

Jan 9, 2013 8:03PM
I guess Wendy is not so hot and juicy. I like healthy people making my food.Stick cheap in your $#S!!!

Jan 9, 2013 8:03PM
Fourth quarter 2011 revenues were $306.2 million, a 6.8% increase from fourth quarter 2010 revenues of $286.8 million. Fourth quarter 2011 net income was $16.0 million 

This information was pulled from PAPA JOHNS website;

 People the problem is greed. A company's NET profit is 12-16million per quarter, yet they don't want to contribute better health benefits for Americans.  Might I add Americans that eat their unhealthy, sodium, preservative loaded 10,000 calorie pizzas, which intern causes health problems.
Jan 9, 2013 7:49PM
shame on Wendys for not giving employees over 35 hours a week insurance.  cheap cheap cheap.  why would any American eat/work there.  Just another way of employers to blame the government for not being fair to their employees.    There would be no need for Obamacare if employers were actually good to their people.  I am a small business owner.  I share the expense for my employees - they are grateful and more productive.  Dumb*sses  thinking its Obama.  Try businesses that employee people with integrity.
Jan 9, 2013 7:18PM
Jim Leyland probably does not know how to operate this phone. 
Jan 9, 2013 7:18PM
Cany you say RUSSIA or REVOLUTION??
Jan 9, 2013 7:11PM

The problem is actually that government is not involved ENOUGH in health care. Obamacare is a middle-of-the-road solution that is not perfect. Health care for ALL citizens should be provided 100% by the government. We should not be asking employers to have to make these decisions (i.e., cut hours to avoud having to pay for employees' health care). A small VAT or a small increase in income tax would pay for it.


Alternatively, if the political necessity is to have the costs paid for by employers, then still EVERYONE in the country, working or not, should be covered, and it should be paid for based upon a fee for each payroll hour accrued at a company. That way employers would not have an arbitrary cut-off figure (like 30 hours) which they could manipulate. If your business requries 1,000 man hours per month, and there is a health care cost factor of $2.00 per manhour, then the employer pays $2,000 per month regardless of whether those 1,000 hours are wored by 5 people (200 hours/month/employee) or 20 people (50 hours/month/employee).




Jan 9, 2013 6:38PM
Lets start a boycott of employers who not only play this game but are stupid enough to publicly admit to it.  When Wendy's corporate looses some customers to this "franchise level" strategy decision we will then see a corporate response.

Dave Thomas is gone R.I.P.  my brother golfed with him on occasion and I am told he was not a liberal minded fellow, nonetheless politics aside the business implications of having a business strategy to thwart our legislated effort to provide coverage can at best only be marginally popular.

If I sell hamburgers why would I want to piss off half my customers?
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