The next market efficiency? CONTROL THE WEATHER TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
Well, not exactly, but apparently you can use weather-related technology to better understand, in real-time, the impacts of the environment on the baseball. And it’s happening at Wrigley Field, per the AP.
The Cubs and Marquee have contracted to have some kind of advanced weather metrics station implemented at Wrigley Field, which will offer up fun during broadcasts – the impact of the weather on the flight of the ball, for example – but also could help the Cubs position their defenders better.
[Weather Applied Metrics] had a pilot program for Red Sox broadcasts last year. But it’s also heading into the third season of a deal with another major league team it declined to identify that decided to keep the information internal.
“The biggest thing that they’re doing with it is they’re positioning their outfielders,” said John Farley, the chief technology officer for Weather Applied Metrics. “Their thing to us was if you can get us 20 extra outs a year this is well worth whatever it costs because they can factor in that they can win x number of games because of that.
“But we think we’re getting them many more than 20 outs a year.”
One of the biggest keys to Weather Applied Metrics’ modeling is computational fluid dynamics, which uses software to help analyze the flow of gas or liquids, or how flowing gas or liquids affects objects.
There’s much more in there about how the weather stations could be used for fans on broadcasts, but also about how MLB has to sort out how much to allow teams to use the technology for a competitive edge.
So, while this could mostly be about engaging fans during broadcasts, it’s not hard to see how there might also be advantages for the Cubs, particularly at a ballpark where the weather is such a key factor in gameplay. The direction and strength of the wind is something we can easily wrap our heads around – and we talk about it almost every game at Wrigley Field – but I’d imagine the rapid fluctuations in temperature, humidity, air quality, etc. also have a significant impact that would require dramatically more powerful inputs to fully understand and utilize.
I can already see it now, as David Ross yells out to Jason Heyward to take a few steps to his left, and then the ball miraculously curves right into his waiting mitt. And then also the Cubs use their evil weather station to make it snow in the Cardinals dugout.