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article imageMets complain Dodgers used barred technology in pro baseball game

By Nathan Salant     May 30, 2016 in Sports
Flushing - The New York Mets baseball team has formally complained to league officials about what they suspect was another team's use of advanced electronics to better position players on the field.
The Mets say the Los Angeles Dodgers used a laser range finder, similar to a global positioning system, to advise its players of optimal places to stand for defending against each batter during a game between the teams on May 27, the start of a three-game series.
"We observed some members of the Dodgers organization using technology to establish defensive positions, presumably for use during the game," Alderson told sports website ESPN on Saturday.
"We weren't sure that was appropriate," Alderson said.
The Dodgers acknowledge using advanced systems to train its ballplayers, but deny using electronics during actual games.
"No. 1, we do a lot with analytics and preparing our fielders," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told ESPN.
"As far as a laser in-game, that has never been the case nor will it ever, unless it is allowed by Major League Baseball, which I don't foresee," he said.
Major League Baseball will likely investigate and could eventually change its current policy prohibiting the use of advanced electronics, including cell phones, during games.
In fact, one of the allegations relayed by the Mets to league headquarters concerned alleged cell phone use by Dodgers infielder Howie Kendrick, which he promptly denied.
Before the game even started, the Mets refused to allow the Dodgers to paint marks for its players on the outfield grass at Citi Field, the New York team's home field since 2009.
"We had gotten the report they were painting spots on our outfield, which they do in Dodger Stadium," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
"You just don't go paint somebody else's field," he said.
But the Dodgers paint such marks in its home field, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and reportedly allows other teams to leave marks, too, ESPN said.
Roberts said he was not unhappy with the Mets for refusing to allow the field to be marked.
"They declined, which is their prerogative, so we made other adjustments," Roberts said.
"There is no threat to mess up the field and dig up their field; it's something that in baseball, where positioning has become a top priority, everyone is doing," he said.
Alderson said he understood the need for better defensive positioning but said marking another team's field was over the top.
"Defensive positioning is a big part of the game these days," Alderson said.
"But marking the field seemed to go beyond the rule book," he said.
The Dodgers also use laminated cards to give outfielders advice about where to position themselves for whomever is at bat, but the Mets did not complain about that.
Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson told ESPN that the cards only had basic information about each hitter's tendencies, and said he rarely looks at a card after the opposing team bats for the first time.
"It's a positioning card," Roberts said.
"it's just a reference for the outfielders to use to be in the right spots versus a particular hitter," he said.
Kendrick refused to comment about defensive positioning in the outfield and sarcastically denied allegations about using a phone on the field.
"If they think I have a cell phone, let them think I have a cell phone," he said.
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