Sound of silence: Baseball thinking ahead to silent stadiums

Tom Murphy it became an online sensation during baseball shutdown for the series of exercises that Seattle Mariners catchers post on Instagram at their home in upstate New York.

While staying in shape is a priority, Murphy is also thinking about the future. How, perhaps, the game strategy needs to change if teams have to play in empty stadiums.


"It will be one of those things that will add some different aspects to the game" Murphy said.

Whenever baseball returns after the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there is an element that can come into play like never before: the sound of silence.

The crack of the stick and the crack of a glove can resonate with a rich, deep echo that evokes the nostalgia of the game – back to game days in front of just family and friends in Little League or high school, when the loudest noises. tall were the ping of an aluminum stick and a super cool dad. But a quiet stadium also means a drastic start for professional athletes used to crowds.


"It will be strange, there is no doubt about it. It will be very strange. We are used to having fans on the newsstands," said Washington manager Davey Martinez. "I have been in professional baseball since 1983. This will be the first time. This will be the first time for me. Even in the minor leagues, we had fans. This is new territory for many of us, but it will be part of it if we start. "

The noise of the noise associated with baseball is essentially a masking agent. It could just be the general murmur of the crowd engaged in normal conversation, the music being pumped through the stadium's audio between pitches or the noise wave after a particularly exciting piece.


At the MurphyIn this case, he worries about what a beater can hear a few centimeters from where he is installed.

The subtle movement of the catcher to hit the target in the right place and in the frame of the frame is a vital piece of success for a pitcher. MurphyThe concern is that, without the normal soundtrack of a stadium, your movements will be too obvious and will allow the batsmen to discover where the field may be located?

"This is something that I'm sure people haven't really thought about," Murphy said. "But I'm thinking a lot, and just thinking about how many locations will be donated, it's scary for pitchers, just because this is obviously a big part of their game that commands different locations without the hitter knowing.


"And I definitely worry about this situation a little bit," he said.


Still, with the expectation that the games are only for TV, the lack of noise in the stadium can be a problem. Discussions that have not been filtered in the past – whether those involved are players on the field, referees or in the squad – can now be heard clearly.

Some of those conversations previously classified as R will need an editor – or a delay of several seconds and a mute button.

"I think we will have to be very attentive to how much we speak and the conversations with the referees, because everyone will be able to hear him," said Pittsburgh first-year manager Derek Shelton.


AP Sports writers Howard Fendrich in Washington and Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.


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