Bullpen Phones. Baseball.

What is the point of a landline to the bullpen? Can’t the manager call the bullpen coach on a cellphone? It is just extra drama in the game?

The bullpen phones are mandated equipment, according to the rules of Major League Baseball, to ensure every team has the same, reliable method of communicating from dugout to bullpen. It’s just easier to pick up a fixed line than fart around with cellphones.

It’s also much harder to tap into a landline phone to overhear.

But it’s all retroactive justification. The landline phones were installed ages ago and there’s no real advantage of using a cell. Both the manager and the bullpen coach are right by it and walking a few steps is not going to have any effect on anything.

You think cell phones are easier to tap into than landlines? Are you serious?

I don’t think that either players or managers are allowed to have access to cellphones during an MLB game.

I do remember that when bin laden was killed and the fans started chanting USA USA during the game in progress the Phillies players all had no idea what was going on because they had no cellphones to check.

Sure. They’re radio, after all, and you don’t need access to the physical cable.

I think if cell phones were available, all the assertions of cheating would become fact.

Don’t you the think the home team has an advantage in tapping a wire?

You don’t know much about modern cell phones, do you?

The point of the cell phone ban is not because of communication between the dugout and the bullpen. Everyone can see what is going on in both places. But suppose there was someone sitting in centerfield picking up the pitches signalled for by the catcher? He would not have to relay every pitch, but what if he just let the dugout know when a fastball was coming? That would be a big advantage.

Rumors that the 1951 Giants secretly learned opponents’ finger signals were confirmed in 2001 when several players told the Wall Street Journal that beginning on July 20, the team used a telescope and buzzer wire to steal the finger signals of opposing catchers careless enough to leave their signs unprotected. Joshua Prager detailed the revelations in a book titled The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and The Shot Heard Round the World. Giants catcher Sal Yvars told Prager that he relayed to Thomson the stolen sign for Branca’s fastball.

Thomson always insisted that he had no foreknowledge of Branca’s pitch. Branca had been aware of the rumors and was skeptical of Thomson’s denial, but later told The New York Times, “I didn’t want to diminish a legendary moment in baseball. And even if Bobby knew what was coming, he had to hit it… Knowing the pitch doesn’t always help.” Whether the telescope-and-buzzer system contributed significantly to the Giants’ late-season 37–7 win streak remains a subject of debate.

From Wikipedia

This is one of those stories that just seems more complicated than it needs to be. Anticipating a fastball is not really something you’d need a stolen sign for, is it? Most pitches are fastballs. It’s kind of the default pitch, and the default thing the hitter should be looking for. It was an 0-1 count after a first pitch fastball called strike, so it would be logical to throw the very pitch Branca attempted, a fastball up and in to set up a breaking ball for a third strike; Thompson should have been looking fastball anyway. Branca just missed his target, that’s all.

Well after just finishing watching the Pirates game where Wandy Rodriguez threw at least 50% curve balls I have to disagree. And if it does not help why do it? This is hardly the only situation where it has been alleged, just the most famous. The fact is Thompson hit a home run off of Branca in Game one of the playoffs also and that was played in Ebbets Field. Another fact is that Thompson was quite a home run hitter in his day and may not have paid any attention to the signals, in the same way that some professional golfers do not want to watch another player putt even if it is on the same line. None of this has anything to do with whether the signals were intercepted or relayed onward.

You are right to say that it does not take a rocket scientist to anticipate a fast ball and the study of rocketry would probably not help one hit a fast ball, but knowing the next pitch is not a curve or a change up would have to be a big advantage.