This is one of the few times this season that I deeply regret Joe Morgan is no longer around to offer trenchant commentary. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Tom Avril introduces PhillieBot, “a one-armed, three-wheeled contraption that is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee”. As part of a Science Day promotion, the creation of the University Of Pennsylvania engineering department is already guaranteed to be held in higher esteem than Joe Blanton (perhaps even by members of the Blanton family).

The robot’s computer brain can be infinitely tweaked to change pitch velocity and trajectory, and its arm is a sleek, programmable instrument that also can be used in surgical and manufacturing applications. Moreover, PhillieBot can move.

The engineers started with a Segway, one of those motorized, two-wheeled vehicles sometimes used by tourists and police patrols. They lopped off the top handlebar portion and replaced it with the