Oh, baby! Oh, baby! Oh, baby!
Just when I thought this was going to be a slow day at work on Tuesday, ESPN’s Darren Rovell dropped this bomb on Twitter, and I couldn’t be happier:
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 6, 2018
That’s right, after being absent from the game for *starts counting on fingers* far too long, the bullpen cart is making a comeback.
According to Rovell, the last team to use a bullpen cart was the Milwaukee Brewers in 1995 (though it was apparently a Harley-Davidson with a sidecar for the pitcher to sit in, which … OMGthat’ssomuchbetter) but the Arizona Diamondbacks will be the first to bring it back over 20 years later.
The carts will come from the D-backs bullpen, drive on the warning track, head down the first and third-base lines and stop at the dugout. From there the pitcher makes his way to the mound and, really, we all win.
Also according to Rovell, the D-backs carts cost about $20,000 and were retrofitted with giant baseball caps by a company called SportsKartz. In addition to any D-Backs branding, the carts might also feature marketing deals and $ponsorships.
As far as I can tell, this idea was tossed around this winter, when pace-of-play continued to creep into the forefront of the public baseball conversation. Saving the extra time of a long jog out to the mound in an era with more bullpen usage than ever before, it seems, is a way to keep the game moving. The silliness and extra cash, of course, are just a nice side-benefit.
As of now, it’s not clear if any other teams will use the bullpen cart, but I imagine the expectedly warm reception from D-backs fans will get at least a few other teams thinking about it (I sure hope the Cubs do it, now that their bullpens are under the bleachers).
This is awesome. What a great day.