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The next time fireballer Aroldis Chapman asks, "Is that a radar gun in your pocket?" you can say "yes."
Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings aren't just a place for executives and agents to dangle potential trades in front of each other like 17th-century Canadian fur trappers. No, they're also an exposition for entrepreneurs and inventors to show off their stuff. Kind of like American Inventor, only more baseball-y. The New York Times did a round-up of some of the latest innovations that may or may not be coming to a park near you. Here are some of the more intriguing gadgets:
What it does: Allows you to track the speed of baseball pitches with a speed tracker the size of an iPod.
What it can't do: Make all your sabermetric calculations for you.
Potential impact: Now your team's scout can balance his cup of watered-down coffee in one hand while clocking a prospect's fastball with the other. Plus, more scouts will be able to go undercover, greatly increasing the size of the undercover scouting community.
What it does: After confirming your attendance using a GPS check-in, you can order food from your smartphone and pick up your food while skipping the concession line.
What it can't do: Solve your indigestion issues from that hot dog and nacho combo.
Potential impact: The dirty looks you'll get from the regular line? Priceless.
What it does: Relieves fans from the summer heat with a refreshing mist ... all while serving a giant ad.
What it can't do: Pat its head and rub its belly at the same time.
Potential impact: May be the biggest innovation to hit sports marketing since urinal cake advertising.
Gatling-Gun Style T-Shirt Cannon (not linked to by the Times, though we're hoping it's the model shown here)
What it does: Launches at a rate of three t-shirts per second with an effective range of 150 yards. Magazine has an ammo capacity of 400 shirts.
What it can't do: Warn your fellow fans about t-shirt cannon safety.
Potential sports impact: It will deprive your spirit team of five minutes' worth of precious material.