STATS helps fill baseball void

Motorola has been thrown a marketing screwball.The baseball strike means Motorola's Boynton Beach, Fla.-based Derivative Technologies division has had to scramble to replace the games scheduled for its SportsTrax information monitor.Going to bat for SportsTrax is stats, the sports statistics and...

Motorola has been thrown a marketing screwball.

The baseball strike means Motorola’s Boynton Beach, Fla.-based Derivative Technologies division has had to scramble to replace the games scheduled for its SportsTrax information monitor.

Going to bat for SportsTrax is stats, the sports statistics and analysis firm that is offering SportsTrax users the option of computer-simulated games.

Mike Marrs, SportsTrax manager, says although the simulations do not replace real baseball games, they help fill the entertainment void the strike has created.

stats, and Stormfront Studios, Strat-O-Matic Baseball and Tippett Software – all u.s.-based – together have developed simulations for the season that might have been.

The Toronto Blue Jays were the first major league club to use SportsTrax, introducing it this April.

Motorola’s SportsTrax is a $149 wireless pocket-pager-size device that provides such information as the score of a game – simulated or real, the inning, the team at bat, rain delays and more on its screen.

The information about the games is carried over the Cantel radio network, two or three minutes behind the actual play.

Marrs said at the time of the introduction of SportsTrax the Blue Jays were chosen as the first user largely because the team has the biggest market in baseball with fans from coast to coast.

He said if the Blue Jays project was a success SportsTrax would be rolled out to other major league clubs.

In July, the Chicago White Sox became the first u.s.-based team to get SportsTrax.

The Blue Jays, touted as the team to watch after back-to-back World Series wins, were having a mostly dismal season until the strike brought things to a halt.

The simulated games work in the Toronto market by having Motorola, in conjunction with local radio stations, select certain fans as team ‘managers’ to fulfil the functions of a strike-hit Cito Gaston, the Blue Jays real manager.

The simulated games are carried on SportsTrax during the times the actual games were scheduled.

Accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P. is verifying the simulated games statistics.