Lasers in the outfield: Mets say MLB to handle Dodgers marks
NEW YORK (AP) The Mets aren't happy with the way the Dodgers tried to make their mark in New York this weekend.
General manager Sandy Alderson said Major League Baseball will handle the team's concerns about Los Angeles using a laser range-finder to denote defensive positioning in the outfield before a game at Citi Field.
Fox reported the Mets contacted MLB about the matter. The teams began a three-game series in New York on Friday night.
''I don't want to make it more than it was, but I think we observed some members of the Dodger organization using technology to establish defensive positions, presumably for use during the game,'' Alderson said Saturday. ''Weren't sure that was appropriate. But you know, Major League Baseball's going to look at that issue, so I don't really have any further comment.''
Alderson said the Mets did not discuss the issue with the Dodgers directly.
''Nor did they discuss with us the possibility of establishing the markers in the first place,'' he said. ''I hadn't encountered it in the number of years I've been around.
''Look, you know, defensive positioning is a big part of the game these days, but nobody said that baseball needs to make it easier to make sure that that kind of positioning is as precise as possible. So from my standpoint, everybody has the same opportunity to position their players, but you know, marking the field seemed to go beyond the rulebook,'' Alderson added.
Before the game on Saturday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained his team's practice.
''We do a lot with analytics and preparing our fielders. So as far as a laser in-game, that's never been the case nor will it ever unless it's allowed by Major League Baseball, which I don't foresee. So this is something where, before a series, to help place our outfielders with depth. So as I understand it, other teams have come to us and asked to put marks on the outfield, little marks to kind of help their outfielders, and our groundskeeper has kind of obliged. So we just felt that to help us out, to give us an opportunity and obviously with respect to them, and asked,'' Roberts said.
''They declined, which is their prerogative. So we made other adjustments. There's no range-finder during the game. There's no threat to mess up the field, dig up their field. So it's something that in baseball, our positioning has become a top priority. Everyone's doing it. People have used it at our place. So we're really not thinking too much of it.''
Cameras caught Dodgers left fielder Howie Kendrick glancing at a positioning card during Friday's game.
''Instead of looking like an air traffic controller on the bench, it's just a reference for the outfielders to use to help be in the right spots,'' Roberts said.
Roberts said he was surprised to hear the Mets contacted the commissioner's office.
''Every team has different priorities and there have been various teams that have asked to make a mark on our field and we've been OK with it,'' Roberts said. ''I honestly didn't know they went this far. ... This is the first I've heard of it.
''The rumors that we would use some in-game device couldn't be further from the truth,'' he added.
Kendrick didn't have much of an answer when asked about the Mets taking issue with the Dodgers' trying to make their mark at Citi Field.
''I don't really care about them, to be honest with you. All I care about is playing baseball. That's not my problem, really,'' he said. ''I don't really know what the actual dispute is. All I know is everybody's coming up to me asking about outfield stuff and I'm like, `I don't know, I just play out there.'''
Mets manager Terry Collins said the team initially got a report that the Dodgers were painting spots in the Citi Field outfield. He said they do that at home in Los Angeles.
''So we just went out to check and we didn't find anything. But, I mean, you just don't go paint somebody else's field,'' Collins said. ''There was nothing here.''