NEW YORK—Citing the numerous studies linking the overuse of electronic devices to stunted development, the MLB reportedly sent a memo to all 30 teams Tuesday that recommended limiting the amount of screen time for rookies. “During that incredibly important first year, coaches should ideally prohibit players from spending more than two hours per day in front of computers, phones, and TVs,” read the memo authored by MLB medical director Dr. Gary Green, warning that excessive screen time could have significant consequences for rookies’ physical fitness, concentration at the plate, and ability to socialize with teammates. “Although it’s easy and convenient to simply sit rookies down with an iPad or in front of the clubhouse TV to keep them occupied, teams need to realize that these players are still at a precarious place in their cognitive, physical, and emotional development. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, rookies’ screen time should be mostly dedicated to high-quality programming, such as tape of opposing pitchers. Ultimately, it’s up to teams to make smart decisions that will benefit their rookies’ long-term growth.” The memo also recommended that coaches designate screen-free times for the whole team, such as group dinners or while in bed at the team hotel.
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