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Thursday, October 18, 2018

More questions after Astros get free pass on dugout spying

“We were playing defense,” Astros president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow said. “We were not playing offense. We want to make sure it’s an even playing field.”

This is a bad look. It’s the league’s job to make sure it’s an even playing field.

The league offering Houston the free pass enraged executives around baseball, who reached out to Yahoo Sports trying to understand the rationale. If the Astros were allowed to monitor another team’s dugout in-game without penalty, one wondered, shouldn’t every team be allowed to do the same? If the Astros were so concerned with opponents’ nefariousness, another said, why did they send a kid in his early 20s whose role with the team is opaque and not simply request MLB send a security professional to examine the dugout from the same spot and ensure everything is above board? Most of all, taking at face value the Astros’ explanation for using McLaughlin, if there is a rule forbidding in-game technology to help steal signs, why is a team allowed to use in-game technology to investigate whether its opponent is illegally stealing signs?

 

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:12 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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   1. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5770156)
The Astros are basically using the Cardinals hacking defense.

“We had to cheat to make sure that they weren’t stealing from us.”
   2. Rally Posted: October 18, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5770175)
Free pass? Looked to me like the league docked them 2 runs.
   3. Textbook Editor Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5770203)
It does *seem* like stealing signs is/was the last possible place where, with video analysis, you could gain a decided edge on another team for a low-$ investment. (i.e., you don't need to spend $ on players to get ahead, just on tech/people in back office). That someone figured all this out and obtained an edge isn't really that surprising.

So now the question going forward I think every team needs to ask is: what are we doing so the other team *doesn't* steal our signs--i.e., start from the presumption the other team *is* doing it on every pitch and go from there.

I'm reasonably sure that as soon as teams en masse decide to deal with the issue from that starting point, they'll adopt new ways of conveying signs that will prove harder/too hard to easily steal, and the edge will dissipate.

I have no idea what is/is not true in all of this, but also do agree that the cover story here seems a bit weak. If the cover story was literally true, in the wake of this wouldn't Luhnow be calling for MLB to position its staff in the photographer's well, to do what he claims his team was doing? Or something akin to this? As best as I have read, that doesn't seem to be the case (though I may well have missed a quote calling for MLB to do just that).
   4. Rally Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5770240)
Tough part is all the player movement. To make stealing signs actionable, you have to get the information to the batter.

Now a batter gets cut, traded, signs somewhere else as a free agent. He's probably not going to tell the media how his old team was stealing signs (though these days you never know what a player will put on twitter) but he's certainly going to tell his new teammates about it when he faces his old team.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5770255)
2017 World Champs*
   6. Srul Itza Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5770391)
If you ain't cheatin', you ain't competin'.

And it's only cheating if you get caught.
   7. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5770401)
Does a team really need to invest any money to steal signs? I think pretty much anybody in the dugout or on the field can figure out the signs rather quickly.
   8. Srul Itza Posted: October 18, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5770427)
With respect to signs -- How long before MLB adopts NFL-style headsets and helmet radios? It seems like MLB is always looking for the next bad NFL idea to adopt, so I expect to see this one soon.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: October 18, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5770497)
I assume MLB chickened out and didn't want to accuse one of its playoff teams, a possible WS winner, of cheating in the middle of the playoffs. What were they going to do, make the Astros forfeit a game? If this had been revealed after the season, I'm sure Manfred would have considered an empty penalty. But under pressure, they'd rather deny anything happened.
   10. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 18, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5770509)
8 - Verlander apparently had previously suggested that in part as a time saving mechanism. Watching these games you can see why that would matter, every pitch is getting treated like a runner on second situation with multiple signs. That slows things down.
   11. . Posted: October 18, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5770512)
As if baseball couldn't have gotten any more annoying .... It's almost as if they're ruining the product on purpose at this point.
   12. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 18, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5770513)
How long before MLB adopts NFL-style headsets and helmet radios?


I've seen this multiple places now, and I just don't get it. You're concerned that the opponent has developed a seven layer arcane ritual to decipher your signs and relay it to the batter in the box, and your solution is to just have your catcher say out loud what he wants next, while the batter stands there listening?
   13. . Posted: October 18, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5770532)
Not just the batter, computerized hacking systems.

It's a ####### inane idea, which means we should expect in place by spring training 2019.
   14. RoyalFlush Posted: October 18, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5770565)
I've seen this multiple places now, and I just don't get it. You're concerned that the opponent has developed a seven layer arcane ritual to decipher your signs and relay it to the batter in the box, and your solution is to just have your catcher say out loud what he wants next, while the batter stands there listening?


I was wondering this as well - unless it is like the NFL and the coaches call it from the dugout and the pitcher/catcher are the only ones that can hear it.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5770584)
unless it is like the NFL and the coaches call it from the dugout and the pitcher/catcher are the only ones that can hear it.
If this happens, Yadier Molina will be able to make $10 million a year for the rest of his life as a pitch-calling coach.
   16. The Duke Posted: October 18, 2018 at 07:22 PM (#5770594)
And Chris Correa sits in jail for four years because the Astros didn’t change their passwords.

He tweeted last night “guess who isn’t surprised?”
   17. Scott Ross Posted: October 19, 2018 at 04:09 AM (#5770892)
Astros pre-wrist slap: 4-0,
Astros post-wrist slap: 0-4

Obviously reductive, but still amusing. To a Red Sox fan, anyway.
   18. manchestermets Posted: October 19, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5770914)
I can't think of anyone with a more consistent combination of generally being in agreement with me on the issues but expressing himself in an annoying way than Passan.
   19. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 19, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5770929)
So now the question going forward I think every team needs to ask is: what are we doing so the other team *doesn't* steal our signs--i.e., start from the presumption the other team *is* doing it on every pitch and go from there.


Message sent via one-time pad from catcher to pitcher before every pitch.
   20. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 19, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5770961)
I've seen this multiple places now, and I just don't get it. You're concerned that the opponent has developed a seven layer arcane ritual to decipher your signs and relay it to the batter in the box, and your solution is to just have your catcher say out loud what he wants next, while the batter stands there listening?


Morse code!
   21. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 19, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5771077)
And Chris Correa sits in jail for four years because the Astros didn’t change their passwords.

He tweeted last night “guess who isn’t surprised?”


If he's tweeting, he's not really in jail.
   22. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 19, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5771153)
And Chris Correa sits in jail for four years because the Astros didn’t change their passwords.

Wrong, again, like you are every single time some like this comes up and you make one of your moronic statements. That absolutely is not why.
   23. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: October 19, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5771281)
the free pass enraged executives around baseball, who reached out to Yahoo Sports trying to understand
Yes, because that's where everyone should go with concerns of this nature.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 19, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5771327)
And Chris Correa sits in jail for four years because the Astros didn’t change their passwords he illegally accessed the proprietary data of a competitor by repeatedly logging into their system without authorization, which is a crime.


Fixed that for you.
   25. manchestermets Posted: October 19, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5771431)
The Astros didn't change their passwords thing doesn't even work as a whiny excuse. There were never any passwords at the Astros that he was legitimately a party too. He never worked for the Astros.

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