Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is frustrated with MLB sideline devices

After Patriots coach Bill Belichick expressed his frustration with sideline tablets, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon had trouble of his own during NLCS Game 4.
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For a baseball manager who relies on his iPad for submitting every lineup, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon had to do it the old fashioned way prior to game Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night.

After 90 minutes of talking with tech and IT support, Maddon succumbed to finally calling in his starting lineup. The FS1 broadcast relayed the information to viewers in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Cubs clobbered the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 to even the series at 2-2.

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An MLB spokesperson confirmed to SportTechie on Wednesday morning that the iPad was Maddon’s personal device and not one of the MLB-issued tablets given to each team as part of the league’s deal with Apple.

In late March, MLB and Apple announced a deal placing iPad Pros in all 30 teams’ dugouts. They are currently used by managers, coaches and players to research and analyze data as well as watch replays. In addition, the iPads come fully loaded with a new app, called MLB Dugout, which is designed for video, scouting and analytics. This is the first full season the technology has been integrated into dugouts across the league.

“Our collaboration with Apple on the use of iPad Pro in dugouts and bullpens is part of our ongoing effort to introduce extraordinary technology into our game,” said Commissioner Robert Manfred.

Rest assured for Maddon, he is not the only coach experiencing technology snafus these days. This past weekend, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick had issues with his Microsoft Surface during a 35-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, saying he was officially “done” with the tablets.

“They’re just too undependable for me,” he said. “I’m going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do, as well, because their just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can’t take it anymore. … For me, personally, it’s a personal decision, I’m done with the tablets. I’ll use the paper pictures from here on, because I just have given it my best shot. I’ve tried to work through the process. But it just doesn’t work for me, and that’s because there’s no consistency to it.”