Exclusive footage from the Nationals’ quadcopter
by Amanda Comak
Viera, Fla. — There was a buzz about Washington Nationals camp this week as pitchers and catchers got on the field for the first time in 2014. A literal buzz.
It was coming from photographer Donald Miralle’s latest toy, a quadcopter with a GoPro camera inside it, capturing video and still footage from high above the team’s workout.
“Everybody is always looking for a new opportunity to get the different angle, right?” said Nationals Manager Matt Williams, who, like many members of the Nationals, was intrigued by the device. “So it was good. I can’t wait to see the footage. It’s quiet enough that guys don’t really notice it when they’re out there. I asked them not to throw any baseballs at it or anything like that. And they said, ‘Okay, skip, we won’t do that.'”
Miralle, a San Diego resident, was happy to explain what he was using. He spent a few minutes with right-hander Stephen Strasburg showing off the equipment, along with past photos he’d taken with it — including an incredible shot from above the Pacific Ocean showing the sharks gathering.
“Technology is crazy,” Strasburg later told reporters. “I guess you can go down to the hobby store and get one yourself.”
With all the attention being paid to the quadcopter, the question was asked numerous times if there might be some analytical value to the footage that the Nationals’ scouting department may be able to utilize. So far, it’s simply art.
“They’re just gathering footage of camp,” Williams said. “It was cool. I’d like to fly it. I’d like to clear everybody out of the stadium and see if I could do it.”