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Big Tech Meets MLB Playoffs

Stocks in this article: T CVLT CSCO CMCSA Q IBM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wednesday afternoon's first post-season Major League Baseball game between Tampa Bay and Texas is the perfect time to reflect on the intersection of big tech and America's favorite pastime.

Tech and baseball mixed long before the Moneyball phenomenon some eight years ago, but it wasn't until then that we started to see the advent of general managers hiring CIOs and companies like ScoutAdvisor and IBM (IBM) selling teams powerful slice-and-dice statistical software, allowing scouts and front offices to get fancy and sophisticated with player analysis.


Today, in an era where beloved, monumental stadiums are being replaced by souped-up, Wi-Fi-enabled technology hubs -- like San Francisco's AT&T Park, above, and the Minnesota Twins' new Target Field -- the technology ecosystem supporting major league baseball is as state-of-the-art as anything else in Silicon Valley.

Post-Season Logjam

Brian Lamoreaux, director of information systems for the Philadelphia Phillies, said that the playoffs bring a unique set of challenges to Citizens Bank Park. "Cell phone use within the stadium is very different during a post-season and World Series game, compared to a regular game," he told TheStreet. "During the post-season last year, we noticed that phone coverage became saturated -- it's because so many pictures are being captured and sent."

Lamoreaux, owner of three championship rings thanks to the Phillies' recent successes, is keen to avoid a repeat during the 2010 post season. "We worked very closely with AT&T (T) and installed over 100 antennas on their 3G system inside the ballpark," he said. "We rolled it out in July -- that has also helped things like the AtBat app on iPhone and BlackBerrys."

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