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Robot to throw out the first pitch at the Phillies-Brewers game tomorrow

Apr 19, 2011, 3:35 PM EDT

Johnny 5

Roy Halladay is going to watch this guy’s mechanics, shake his head in disgust and call him an amateur:

PhillieBot for Cy Young? It’s unlikely. But the one-armed, three-wheeled robot, designed by engineers at the University of Pennsylvania, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers as part of Science Day festivities at Citizens Bank Park, said Evan Lerner, a spokesman for Penn’s engineering school.

And if you can’t see what’s going to happen before it actually occurs, God help you. The flashbulbs from the crowd will cause some sort of electromagnetic interference which scrambles the PitchBot’s programming, causing it to run amok in the stands, injuring innocent bystanders and brining shame upon its creators.

So basically it won’t be all that different than your typical night at Citizens Bank Park.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM


  2. Jeremiah Graves - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    So who is going to have the stones to catch for this thing?!

    What if it freaks out like Craig is expecting and launches that ball like a 600mph scud missile?! The Phillies can’t afford to have Chooch standing in front of that thing, can they?!

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      Rumor has it that they invited Len Dykstra to catch the first pitch.

    • atlsp - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      They could do us all a favor by having the Phanatic stand back there… you know, just in case.

  3. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    The flashbulbs from the crowd will cause some sort of electromagnetic interference which scrambles the PitchBot’s programming, causing it to run amok in the stands, injuring innocent bystanders and brining shame upon its creators

    Howard Marner: Crosby, what’s it gonna do?
    Newton Crosby: Howard it’s hard to say, it’s malfunctioning, it may not do anything.
    Skroeder: But it COULD decide to blow away anything that moves, couldn’t it? COULDN’T IT CROSBY?

  4. 4d3fect - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    have a celebrity Philly fans are not at all fond of do the ceremonial first catch/death by robot beanball.

    • cur68 - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      I nominate Dykstra. So does Utley’s Hair.

      • mrfloydpink - Apr 19, 2011 at 6:36 PM

        Santa Claus?

  5. itsacurse - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    “Welcome to Citizens Bank Park, where nothing can possi-blye go wrong…..possiBLY go wrong. That’s the first thing that’s ever wrong.”

    • itsacurse - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:51 PM

  6. Joe - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Then PhillyBot will be suspended for 50 games for violating the league’s performance-enhancers policy. No way it got that build “naturally.”

  7. bloodysock - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    This is one instance where is actually makes sense for Philly fans to throw batteries.

  8. isdtyrant - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    All I can think of is basewars. And how the best strategy in the game was to beef up your pitchers’ arms, and consistantly bean the opposing team. Sure, you’d be losing 10-0, but once they fell below 7 working players, FORFIT!

    Ah, adolescence.

    • dcburden - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

      I suppose the game would end in a brawl if anyone tried this in real life, but one wonders . . .

  9. Jonny 5 - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Hey Craig, who told you that you could use my likeness for your blog?? That’ll be $35.50 please. I know it isn’t much but what do you expect from an 80’s reject? Pitch bot is my cousin BTW… He has no brain, but he sure does have balls.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

      I was going to use another robot but then I thought of you. Seriously.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      Ha! I was waiting for this exact comment, J5. I feel like I know you so well, but alas, I know you no more than any of my facebook friends. That is, just barely and through electronic means only.

      • cur68 - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:25 PM

        But he’s got a nice open face, doesn’t he? Can’t you just see him getting the old shaving cream pie after a win?

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      Craig,But that was my bad side!!!! No really there isn’t a better looking male Robot known to man anyway. My wife Cherry 2000 thinks so anyway…

      “El Bravo” Facebook is an evil program created by robots in a plan to take over earth. It not only knows all of your information, but it also has become a tool of drama pitting man against man, and woman against woman. You will soon be over run by billions of pitch bots. This is your final warning…………………

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        I lost you after “woman against woman”…giggity…

  10. yankeesfanlen - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Good thing the Phightins’ aren’t playing the Cards or it would really mess up TLR’s lineup.

    • umrguy42 - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      Well, if the PitchBot will fight with its hands instead of kicking, it’s already one-up on Johnny Cueto…

  11. echolmberg - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    What this means is we are THIS much closer to having real life version of Super Baseball 2020 (

  12. Old Gator - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Look, when you’ve had a dummy like George Bush throw out a first ball, a machine with a measurable intelligence – even if it’s in terms of ROM – is still some kind of an improvement.

    • cur68 - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:31 PM

      I realize I’m intruding in your national political discourse, Gator, but from an outsiders perspective your man Bush was fun to watch. Fun right up until he started a war rather than admit he wasn’t in any way shape or form competent for the job he was in and didn’t know what to do about a terrorist attack. I miss his pre 9/11 days very much. It was fascinating seeing essentially Spicoli as president.

      After that, well PhillieBot here could have done a better job.

      • Old Gator - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        Calling our national tomato and egg throwing, flatal bloviating, pushing screaming and shoving match of a political theater of the Grand Guignol a “discourse” is a bit like calling the Love Canal a drinking hole. But by all means, feel free to intrude. Most of us are busy showering off the most recent salvos and those who still have a few decomposing tomatos, meadow muffins or other untested forms of fecal bolus in their brown paper bags could use a clean target.

      • dfensfelix - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:58 PM

        Thumbs down.

      • cur68 - Apr 19, 2011 at 5:08 PM

        Ahhh, speaking of bloviating flatus… hello d-felix. What is it now?

    • delawarephilliesfan - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      I was going to post “Now the Phillies have 5 pitchers who could be the Ace for the Mets” (woops, I said it anyway), but since Old Gator pierces the politics veil, I will go that route.

      Bill and Hillary go to a baseball game, sit in the front row. A secret service agent leans over and whispers something into Bills ear. “You think I should?”, Bill says to the Agent. The Agent replies “Yes, I do. I think the fans are expecting it, I think the teams are expecting it”. With that, Bill picks up Hillary and tosses her on the field, and to the applause of the fans. Bill grins and turns to the Secret Service agent, who shakes his head in disbelief – “I said throw out the first PITCH!”

      • raysfan1 - Apr 19, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        In a strange twist of fate, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, & George HW Bush all die on the same day and find themselves together in “afterlife’s waiting room.” After a little while they hear a voice over head saying “Barak Obama, room 1.” Obama, enters room 1…and finds it full of fire, brimstone, and people wailing in agony. The over head voice returns, saying “Barak Obama, for your many sins, this is where you will spend all eternity.” Clinton and Bush hear this announcement too and look very nervously at each other until they hear “George Bush, room 2.” Bush sighs deeply and enters room 2, where he finds people moaning in pain from swollen bellies and festering sores. Again the over head voice returns, saying “George Bush for your many sins, this is where you will spend all eternity.” Clinton, now alone, is growing anxious as he hears “Bill Clinton, room 3.” He enters the room, and carefully shuts the door. He then turns around and sees…Heather Locklear. Immediately, his countenance brightens; he staightens his tie and then hears, “Heather Locklear, for your many sins…”

  13. bennoj - Apr 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Where are all the commenters who are scared of robot umpires? Shouldn’t they be even more scared of robot players?

  14. tomemos - Apr 19, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Oh, and I suppose the Pitchomat 5000 was just a modified howitzer!

  15. Paul - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Great… perfect timing:

    • cur68 - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:27 PM

      Oh crap. I wasn’t aware this was imminent. Guess I better check the ammo supplies and start filling the bathtub with water, eh? Does ammo have an expiry date? I knew I should have been better prepared…

  16. wheremybabyat - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    i miss my baby!!!! enjoy the game!!!! wheremybabyat wheremybabyat
    Make that three votes for Dykstra catching the machine!!!

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