Call to ‘pen? There’s an app for that

The phrase “Call to the bullpen” just took on new meaning thanks to a deal struck between Major League Baseball and a cellular telephone company.

Starting this season, managers will be able to use a cellphone to call the bullpen instead of the traditional land-line bullpen phones that have been in dugouts for decades. T-Mobile’s deal with MLB was announced Tuesday at the 2013 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“We look forward to its innovative spirit positively influencing the game and the way fans enjoy it,” said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president for business.

The system will use T-Mobile’s 4G Network and the Samsung Galaxy 3 phone. The system uses “Geofencing,” which protects the integrity of the signal and restricts it to the dugouts. The system gets a trial run during March’s World Baseball Classic.

However, not every team will use T-Mobile’s technology right away. Some teams have pre-existing deals with other cellular providers (the San Francisco Giants with AT&T and the Chicago White Sox with U.S. Cellular, for example). The existing dugout phones will remain available for all 30 teams in the event the wireless signal drops a call.

Of course, a manager can always text his needs. Yankees fans look forward to seeing Joe Girardi texting “Get Me Mo” and seeing Mariano Rivera warming up.

Meanwhile, Cubs fans will dread seeing Dale Sveum reaching for his Galaxy 3 and calling for Carlos Marmol, knowing there’s not a damn thing they can do to block the signal to stop him.

■ LANGUAGE OF SEX – The 2014 World Cup will be here before you know it, and Brazil’s “working women” want to make sure they’re ready.

To help overcome any potential language barriers, prostitutes in Brazil are signing up for free English lessons. The practice is legal in Brazil, and Cida Vieira, president of the Association of Prostitutes in the city of Belo Horizonte, said she expects at least 300 of the group’s 4,000 members to sign up.

“It will be important for the girls who will be able to use English to let their clients know what they are charging and learn about what turns them on,” she said, adding free classes in French and Italian may be offered as well.

What? No German or Russian?

■ TEXAS TWITTER WAR - Isn’t it great when teams in the same city can’t get along? Take the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Stars, for instance.

In the wake of the NHL lockout being settled Sunday, someone from the Cowboys officially tweeted, “Similarly in the category of nobody-cares … the NHL is back!” That sparked a response from the Stars – “At least our No. 9 got the job done,” a reference to former Stars captain Mike Modano, who led Dallas to the 1999 Stanley Cup, and a stinging jab at Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who hasn’t sniffed a Super Bowl, much less won one.

The Cowboys say their tweet was accidental, and the team apologized to the Stars. Maybe they can join forces on Twitter and attack the Texas Rangers, who know a little something about underachieving.


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