Their eye in the sky will officially be shut Monday, and the Los Angeles Dodgers want to know why.
The Dodgers are one of several National League teams using radio communications to transmit information between the press box and the dugout.Dodgers coach Joe Ferguson, armed with notebooks filled with scouting information, sits in the press box and communicates to coach Bill Russell in the dugout. The two conspire to set the defense against each batter.
But NL president Bill White outlawed the practice on Wednesday.
"I would hope there would be some kind of daylight there for an appeals process," Dodgers vice president Fred Claire said. "We've made a significant investment in terms of advanced scouting and coaching. We're staffed for it for this season. The timing of the decision is odd."
The American League banned the practice earlier this season, but in return it allowed teams to keep six coaches on the bench. NL teams can have only five uniformed coaches on the bench.
Ferguson said the Dodgers will continue to use the eye in the sky in some fashion, possibly resorting to some sort of hand signals.
"All they said is we can't use the technology," he said. "This is only an advantage if you're conscientious and aware of what's happening. All we're trying to do is help ourselves defensively."
Claire said only about half of the teams in the NL are using the practice.