Wrigley Field, the last big league stadium to install lights, will be the first to go wireless.
Starting today, when Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker needs to communicate with his bullpen during games he’ll call on a wireless handset designed by Motorola Inc. rather than reach for the corded phone on the dugout’s back wall.
Juan Lopez, the Cubs’ bullpen coach, won’t miss the call – he’ll have one of the i580 phones strapped to his belt and it will vibrate and produce a loud ring.
The Cubs and Motorola, who announced the arrangement Monday for both the home and visiting dugouts and bullpens, said it will be the first wireless bullpen phone system used by a major league team.
Cubs officials approached Major League Baseball with the idea last November after watching a playoff game in which a team had problems communicating with its bullpen, according to John McDonough, the Cubs’ senior vice president of marketing.
“It’s just an idea whose time has come,” he said. “What better place in major league baseball to debut wireless communication than 92-year-old, beautiful Wrigley Field.”
The existing phones will remain in place for the rest of the season, but the new system means managers and coaches won’t have to be tethered to the wall for calls.
“I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with a land line per se, but it’s kind of ushering the team into the wireless era,” Crawford said. “For us, it shows a creative and unique way to apply our technologies.”
Antonelli and Padres make deal
First-round draft pick Matt Antonelli agreed to a deal worth $1,575,000 with the San Diego Padres on Monday, six days after being selected with the 17th overall choice.
The Wake Forest third baseman is scheduled to attend tonight’s game in San Diego against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Antonelli was a first-team All-ACC selection this year after batting .333 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in 55 games. He started all 163 games the Demon Deacons played in his three seasons, setting a school record with 128 walks and finishing his career with a .324 batting average, 18 homers, 110 RBIs and 46 stolen bases.
Clearing the bases
The Los Angeles Angels activated center fielder Darin Erstad from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Tommy Murphy to Triple-A Salt Lake. … The Boston Red Sox optioned starting pitcher David Pauley to Triple-A Pawtucket. … The New York Mets activated pitcher John Maine from 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. … The Toronto Blue Jays released second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo and recalled infielder Russ Adams from Triple-A Syracuse. The Blue Jays also activated utility infielder John McDonald from Triple-A Syracuse and outrighted infielder Luis Figueroa to Syracuse. … The Baltimore Orioles activated right fielder Jay Gibbons from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Ed Rogers to Triple-A Ottawa. … The Colorado Rockies activated infielder Luis Gonzalez from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
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