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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

NYT: Boston Red Sox Used Electronic Devices to Steal Signs Against Yankees

Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.

The baseball inquiry began about two weeks ago, after the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, filed a detailed complaint with the commissioner’s office that included video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series in Boston last month.

The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox stealing catchers’ signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown when they were hitting, according to the people familiar with the case.


Baseball investigators corroborated the Yankees’ claims based on video the commissioner’s office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.

Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2017 at 04:29 PM | 237 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb_discipline, red sox, yankees

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5526501)
Even in his off-season, Bill Belichick never rests.
   2. Tim D Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:42 PM (#5526507)
If the Pirates did it to say the Rockies, would anyone notice?
   3. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5526511)
I've never understood why stealing signs is illegal.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5526512)
Sounds like some significant punishments should be coming down.
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5526517)
As posted elsewhere, since there's no point in my being correct from scratch twice:

This is the least-surprising news of the week. Boston spent over a decade being given free reign to bend and break as many rules as they wanted as part of the league-sanctioned war on the New York Yankees. The headhunted, they juiced with impunity, they conspired with the Budshovik regime at every turn to transform their also-ran franchise into a powerhouse. It was as obvious to an unbiased observed as David Stern's league-mandated deference to Michael Jordan, but nobody want to hear it over the jealous cries to hamstring the Yankees.

If we're lucky, someday someone in a position to know will write a book that lays bare all the dishonest subterfuge, both on the field and off, that arose as a direct result of Budshovism. When that day comes, there will be no point in me saying I told you so. You already know, deep in your heart, that I'm right.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:50 PM (#5526518)
If the Pirates did it to say the Rockies, would anyone notice?


I like to think that the Pirates would.
   7. villageidiom Posted: September 05, 2017 at 05:53 PM (#5526522)
Boooooooooo.

Apple watches and similar devices should be prohibited from dugouts anyway, correct?
   8. Sunday silence Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:00 PM (#5526527)
this is some serious sh!t right here.
   9. No longer interested in this website Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5526543)
The way I read the article, this means that MLB OFFICIALS were conspiring with the Red Sox, since the replay team are paid by MLBAM. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if those people are simply local folks recruited via the home team's front office, similar to the official scorer. Which would make the credibility of that process as fishy as the football protocol used by the NFL when Deflategate emerged.

I'm surprised more of this doesn't take place, and I'm inclined to chuckle at these efforts. Not sure sign stealing should be illegal. HOWEVER, if the LEAGUE is helping one team get signals, that's another issue.
   10. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5526545)
Two and one-half games.
   11. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:48 PM (#5526550)
Apple watches and similar devices should be prohibited from dugouts anyway, correct?

I believe not only are iPads not prohibited, they're encouraged through a partnership between MLB and Apple.

I suspect whatever you do with an Apple watch you could do with an iPad (though perhaps not as surreptitiously).
   12. Tin Angel Posted: September 05, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5526554)
The way I read the article, this means that MLB OFFICIALS were conspiring with the Red Sox, since the replay team are paid by MLBAM.


I read it as the Red Sox team 'video replay personnel' relayed them to the trainer, and not the official MLB replay people.
   13. shoelesjoe Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:00 PM (#5526558)
Not sure sign stealing should be illegal.


This is a joke, right?

Third or first base coaches spotting the catcher's signs and relaying them to the batter verbally or with agreed upon signals? Absolutely fair and legal.

Runner in second base doing the same? Ditto.

Video guys working for the home team using the center field camera to spot the opposing catcher's signs and then sending that information electronically to a coach in the dugout who then relays it electronically to the guy in the batter's box? Not in a million years.

Given the fact that this was apparently systemic cheating rather than just a player or players being involved I'd expect the eventual punishment to include strong suspensions for the manager, coaches, and even front office personnel.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:03 PM (#5526560)
MLB may need the employ some enhanced interrogation techniques to get to the bottom of this one.
   15. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:05 PM (#5526561)
Don't want your signs stolen and relayed through a half-dozen people to the batter? Don't take all day to pitch the g**d***** ball.
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:07 PM (#5526563)
In this case they should stop stealing signs immediately, if not sooner. They went 8-11 against the Yankees and averaged a pitiful 3.1 runs per game.

You can break it down further (runner on second last 3 games) but that's a small enough sample as it is.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:07 PM (#5526564)

This is a joke, right?

Third or first base coaches spotting the catcher's signs and relaying them to the batter verbally or with agreed upon signals? Absolutely fair and legal.

Runner in second base doing the same? Ditto.

Video guys working for the home team using the center field camera to spot the opposing catcher's signs and then sending that information electronically to a coach in the dugout who then relays it electronically to the guy in the batter's box? Not in a million years.


What's your dividing line here? Players vs non-players? Digital equipment vs non?
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5526566)
What's your dividing line here? Players vs non-players? Digital equipment vs non?

There's always been a bright line between old-fashioned on-field observation and using cameras or technology to pick up what you can't see. Don't think the Costanza Defense will work here.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5526568)
   20. No longer interested in this website Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5526569)
Given the fact that this was apparently systemic cheating rather than just a player or players being involved I'd expect the eventual punishment to include strong suspensions for the manager, coaches, and even front office personnel.


This sort of sounds like someone finding out their government lies to them.

Meh, this stuff happens. Make new rules about watches and tablets. Next it'll be drones. Then robots or microscopic relay devices placed at home plate. And so on.
   21. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5526570)
Now the Red Sox are apparently claiming that the Yankees do it, too.


"No puppet, no puppet. You're the puppet."

Also the Yankees bugged their locker room!
   22. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:25 PM (#5526575)
I've never understood why stealing signs is illegal.
It's not. What's illegal is using cameras, binoculars, etc. to help steal them. TFA mentions this.
   23. jmurph Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5526576)
Don't think the Costanza Defense will work here.

It actually doesn't appear to be covered in the rule book?* But there was a memo about it. Anyway I'm sure they will be appropriately punished, however that will be defined on the day the commissioner decides to make the decision.

In any case, I hope the Yankees are not guilty, or at least not caught, because I'm not sure I can summon the requisite energy to pretend to care about this. Manager suspensions! 5 draft picks taken away! Absolutely amazing.

*Question mark there for a reason, I've seen this reported elsewhere.
   24. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:29 PM (#5526578)
In this case they should stop stealing signs immediately, if not sooner. They went 8-11 against the Yankees and averaged a pitiful 3.1 runs per game.


This was my first thought. WTF was the point, it didn't help them at the dish anyway.


   25. Zach Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:30 PM (#5526579)
The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox stealing catchers’ signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown when they were hitting, according to the people familiar with the case.

At last, someone discovers a use for the Apple Watch!
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:44 PM (#5526585)
Scott Lauber, ESPN Staff Writer

By rule, MLB could penalize Red Sox by removing wins, but Rob Manfred noted there's no precedent for such a punishment. Manfred said MLB's investigation is still ongoing but expects it will be completed before end of regular season.

i thought the Red Sox already confessed? Or was that just the modified, limited hang out explanation?
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:44 PM (#5526586)
This was my first thought. WTF was the point, it didn't help them at the dish anyway.


You don't know that. This is likely something they've been doing for years. Absent all of their cheating, they may have been a true-talent 4th place team.
   28. The Duke Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:47 PM (#5526588)
Lord knows what the Bruins and celtics must be up to. This doesn't look good for Larry Bird and Bobby Orr
   29. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:48 PM (#5526590)
This all relates to the debate that raged at OTP a couple weeks ago: When combatting evil, are the righteous justified in operating outside the law?
   30. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:56 PM (#5526596)
I must be an idiot because I can't figure out how this would work. I can see a guy standing on 2nd, stealing a sign, then doing some type of hand signal to the batsman just as the pitcher enters his windup so the batsman knows the pitch.

Is this suggesting that some member of the replay/tv staff is seeing the sign, tapping the info to the batsman who is wearing a watch so then they receive the info? Or are they tapping the info to someone in line of sight of the batsman, then that person is hand signalling the batsman as to what the pitch is going to be? If there are 2 people involved in the process then you've haven't a lot of time to relay the info. The pitcher usually gets the sign and just starts the windup, it's like 10-15 seconds... not a lot of time.

Of course if they sped up the game and pitchers would just "throw the damn ball" as soon as they got the sign, this wouldn't be an issue as the time frame from receiving sign to releasing pitch would be about 5 seconds.

Also, don't catchers usually use a combination of signs when guys are on base? Why don't they just do that all the time if they think people are stealing signs when bases are empty?
   31. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:03 PM (#5526599)
This all relates to the debate that raged at OTP a couple weeks ago: When combatting evil, are the righteous justified in operating outside the law?


What did you have in mind? The Yankees hiring goons and having John Farrell beaten?
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:03 PM (#5526600)
Hugh, i may be wrong, but i think the video guys were cracking the code for sign combinations for when runners were on base (eg 2-3 means fastball ), sending that info to the dugout, who would signal to the runner. The runner would see the sign combo put down by the catcher, be able to understand it, and signal the hitter. But I might be wrong.
   33. nick swisher hygiene Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:13 PM (#5526608)
How can there not be, like, 147 comments at this point?
   34. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:18 PM (#5526611)
#32, Thanks
   35. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:23 PM (#5526613)
What did you have in mind? The Yankees hiring goons and having John Farrell beaten?

Hired goons?

edit: Randy Levine does look a little like Lowblow with a Jewfro...
   36. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5526615)
Scott Lauber, ESPN:

Dave Dombrowski said he believes sign stealing is part of the game, nothing wrong with it. Typically, says Red Sox president of baseball ops, it's dealt with privately between general managers. Guessed he has had about 10 such episodes in 40-year career.


Red Sox players/staff not commenting on sign-stealing saga. Dave Dombrowski wouldn't get into specifics, including whether use of electronics to steal signs crosses a line. Dombrowski also wouldn't say whether team intends to discipline any staff members over the incident, but in general, he seemed amused by the whole thing.


Shameful. The slap on the wrist this franchise of scofflaws and knaves will get will be an embarrassment.


   37. Khrushin it bro Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:26 PM (#5526617)
Aww poor Yankees :(
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5526620)
We should have seen this coming. That Patriots employee involved in their scandal was John Jastremski. That name is suspiciously close to the name of a Red Sox legend: John Pesky.
   39. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:32 PM (#5526625)
Hired goons?


Who doesn't prefer the personal touch you can only get with hired goons?
   40. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:36 PM (#5526629)
I'm glad we both think of Mr. Burns when thinking of the Steinbrenners.
   41. Lars6788 Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:39 PM (#5526630)
How can there not be, like, 147 comments at this point?


Sign stealing is one of pro baseball's white collar crimes - I'm expecting some Fangraphs or SB Nation articles pointing out how the sign stealing is really inconsequential and shame on the Yankees for tattling on the Red Sox.

There are no obvious villains here to get outraged about - no obvious black eyes and if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying.
   42. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 05, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5526636)
Somewhere, Leo Durocher chuckles.
   43. crict Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:05 PM (#5526644)
I'm probably in the minority here, but stealing signs with electric/electronic devices is a big no-no in my book. I think the "Shot heard around the world" should come with a huge asterisk.

Additional effect: Make it legal and be prepared for longer and longer games as catchers and pitchers go through 3 set of signs with no one on base and catchers have to run to the mound every other pitch to clear up the confusion.
   44. Textbook Editor Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:33 PM (#5526664)
What this whole episode has taught me is who I need to block.
   45. jmurph Posted: September 05, 2017 at 09:54 PM (#5526692)
What this whole episode has taught me is who I need to block.

I assure you, "the poor put upon Yankees" stuff is much more entertaining than the other things YR posts about. This is actually good YR, if you can believe it.
   46. Rally Posted: September 05, 2017 at 10:01 PM (#5526696)
Biggest obstacle to sign stealing is all the player movement. Pretty easy to find somebody on your team who can tell you what the other team was doing not too long ago.
   47. BDC Posted: September 05, 2017 at 10:12 PM (#5526704)
   48. Baldrick Posted: September 05, 2017 at 10:17 PM (#5526709)
It's not. What's illegal is using cameras, binoculars, etc. to help steal them. TFA mentions this.

I genuinely think that sign stealing is unimportant. Would be fine with letting it all go free. It's difficult to police, no one really cares anyways, and the advantage is pretty minimal.

I mean, I'm also perfectly fine with the status quo where it's illegal but broadly tolerated unless you get caught doing something egregious. But the only real reason why I think it's important to maintain even that barrier is just to stop the endless trips to the mound that catchers would take if signs were all open source. Ban trips to the mound and I'd be fine with getting rid of rules about sign-stealing, too.
   49. The Duke Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:00 PM (#5526731)
So how does this work? Yanks get an extra first round draft choice and Boston loses three picks and max fine. That's wht the cards got, right?
   50. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:14 PM (#5526735)
So how does this work? Yanks get an extra first round draft choice and Boston loses three picks and max fine. That's wht the cards got, right?

No public floggings? Seems overly lenient.

As far as the Yankees getting an extra draft choice, the problem is that also disadvantages some innocent parties, the other teams that compete against the Yankees. That came up in the Cardinals hacking of the Astros, and IIRC, there were only penalties to the Cardinals, and nothing extra to the Astros. And while the Yankees may have been the primary victim, I don't think they were the only sign-stealing victims if the initial reports are correct. My guess is that a big fine for the Red Sox, with lesser fines for the GM & Manager, maybe banning the fall-guy direct participants, and multiple lost draft picks will be the eventual outcome, although that may depend on exactly what MLB has uncovered here.

EDIT: Oops, looks like I misrembered, and the Cardinals hacking the Astros is a precedent for the victimized team receiving forfeited draft choices and fine money.
   51. BDC Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:22 PM (#5526739)
The practice of holding gloves over mouths because players' lips can be read (a development since cameras, especially in HD, got trained on every aspect of the game) suggests that anything visible is de facto fair game for stealing. The cameras aren't going away. Teams will have to find new ways to set up pitcher-catcher communication. I dunno, telepathy or something, but not one for fastball and two for curve anymore.
   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:39 PM (#5526748)
Headline is clickbait. The Red Sox, per the story, did not use electronic devices to steal signs. The Red Sox used electronic devices to help relay the signs to players.
   53. shoelesjoe Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:41 PM (#5526749)
It's difficult to police, no one really cares anyways, and the advantage is pretty minimal.


If the advantage was minimal then nobody would be trying to steal opposing teams' signs. Since (supposedly) everybody's attempting to steal signs it's reasonable to assume that players and coaches believe that the batter would enjoy a significant advantage if he knew what pitch was coming and/or what location within the strike zone the pitcher was aiming for.

As for whether nobody cares, obviously the Yankees care, as would any team that's played Boston and suspects they might have been cheated out of a win or three because the Red Sox broke the rules of the sport. Also, I imagine many (if not most) major league pitchers would not react well to finding out that opposing batters are using a video team and smart watches to get a preview of what pitch they're about to see. I wouldn't be surprised at all if a Chris Sale or Max Scherzer would deliberately put one in their ear if they suspected a batter of doing such a thing.
   54. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:42 PM (#5526750)
I believe not only are iPads not prohibited, they're encouraged through a partnership between MLB and Apple.
My understanding is that they're allowed in the dugouts only in airplane mode. You can preload data onto the iPads, but not access anything online.
   55. shoelesjoe Posted: September 05, 2017 at 11:53 PM (#5526754)
Headline is clickbait. The Red Sox, per the story, did not use electronic devices to steal signs. The Red Sox used electronic devices to help relay the signs to players.


From TFA:

The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to Red Sox players.
   56. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 12:02 AM (#5526758)
Scott Lauber, ESPN Staff Writer

By rule, MLB could penalize Red Sox by removing wins, but Rob Manfred noted there's no precedent for such a punishment. Manfred said MLB's investigation is still ongoing but expects it will be completed before end of regular season.


i thought the Red Sox already confessed? Or was that just the modified, limited hang out explanation?


Removing wins takes a non-issue and turns MLB into a farce.
   57. Baldrick Posted: September 06, 2017 at 12:04 AM (#5526759)
If the advantage was minimal then nobody would be trying to steal opposing teams' signs. Since (supposedly) everybody's attempting to steal signs it's reasonable to assume that players and coaches believe that the batter would enjoy a significant advantage if he knew what pitch was coming and/or what location within the strike zone the pitcher was aiming for.

Obviously, there's a (modest but real) advantage for the team who steals the signs, and any advantage is worth pursuing in a zero sum game. But if everyone stole signs, it would just be another baseline fact about the game. There wouldn't produce any comparative advantage for one team over another, and the overall result would be a slight increase in offense, which could easily be counteracted in a million other ways if you wanted.

I just find it weird that we've decided that communicating with sign language is such a definitive part of the baseball game that it has to be protected against all encroachment. I say that if they want a secret code they should have to work at it. And if the other team can crack it, communicate it to the hitter, and have the hitter process the information quickly enough to do something with it, then fine for them. What's the big deal?
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 12:11 AM (#5526761)
Hugh, i may be wrong, but i think the video guys were cracking the code for sign combinations for when runners were on base (eg 2-3 means fastball ), sending that info to the dugout, who would signal to the runner. The runner would see the sign combo put down by the catcher, be able to understand it, and signal the hitter. But I might be wrong.


Good thing there are 12 minutes between pitches, then.

I can't fathom why people think this would be practicable.
   59. Greg K Posted: September 06, 2017 at 12:19 AM (#5526764)
Instead of just allowing any kind of sign stealing, I think it would be quicker and less intrusive to just legislate that the catcher has to tell the batter what's coming. At the very least Avisail Garcia would be happy.
   60. jyjjy Posted: September 06, 2017 at 01:20 AM (#5526814)
Given the short time available to get the info to the batter I would think this scheme is in play more so when there isn't a runner on second and no on the fly code cracking is necessary. Not sure why TFA has a section about how succesful the Sox were with runners on second given the runner on second doesn't seem involved at all in what is described.
   61. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 01:26 AM (#5526817)
60 - That's kind of why I'm skeptical of this being particularly useful. That doesn't make it OK and the Sox deserve a harsh punishment. As a Sox fan that's what pisses me off, I feel like the cost/benefit of this is skewed so badly to the cost side.
   62. Dale Sams Posted: September 06, 2017 at 03:08 AM (#5526832)
One guy on Twitter was saying Sox should have their ability to challenge plays removed for a while. I said that was absurd and later mistakenly thought he meant "Sox should have their replay TV removed from the clubhouse." I find that somewhat palatable. Punishing Sox by having them challenge only by eyeballs for a few games.
   63. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 06, 2017 at 04:14 AM (#5526835)
This doesn't look good for Larry Bird

Have you ever seen Larry Bird? It never looked good for him.
   64. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 05:50 AM (#5526838)
I've never understood why stealing signs is illegal.
If clubs must steal signs, they need to remember that Samsung, not Apple, is MLB's digital partner.
   65. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 07:44 AM (#5526850)
The practice of holding gloves over mouths because players' lips can be read (a development since cameras, especially in HD, got trained on every aspect of the game) suggests that anything visible is de facto fair game for stealing


So who mans the directional parabolic microphones so their team can listen in on those discussions?
   66. TomH Posted: September 06, 2017 at 07:57 AM (#5526856)
the Maxwell Smart cone of silence is begging for a comeback
   67. BDC Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:06 AM (#5526861)
The Red Sox, per the story, did not use electronic devices to steal signs. The Red Sox used electronic devices to help relay the signs to players

Seems a little like "I didn't use that screwdriver to steal that car, I used it to hot-wire that car," but, OK :)
   68. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:27 AM (#5526873)
Two and one-half games.


How many, Mr. Bag O'Poop?
   69. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:30 AM (#5526874)
Seems a little like "I didn't use that screwdriver to steal that car, I used it to hot-wire that car," but, OK :)

I read what you quoted and thought to myself, that has to be David saying that.
   70. Rally Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:33 AM (#5526875)
By rule, MLB could penalize Red Sox by removing wins


Thing is, which wins to remove? It's too hard to determine which ones might have been impacted by sign stealing, so the NCAA approach would suggest removing all of them. That changes the AL East standings to:

nyy 82 56
bal 77 62
tba 77 63
tor 75 64
Bos 0 139
   71. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5526876)
So how does this work? Yanks get an extra first round draft choice and Boston loses three picks and max fine. That's wht the cards got, right?


There seems like a fairly important distinction between breaking the rules of baseball and breaking the actual law in a way that results in jail time.
   72. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:40 AM (#5526877)
70...you put a lot of work into that, huh?

Why don't you use your genius to come up with a compromise for DACA?!? Huh? HUH?!?
   73. Booey Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:41 AM (#5526878)
What's your dividing line here? Players vs non-players? Digital equipment vs non?


Not directed at me, but yes, to both. Video replay personnel aren't part of the teams active "roster", so to speak, of players and coaches whose job it is to try and help the team win on the field. Letting them do anything that might influence the outcome of the game doesn't seem any different to me than allowing fans to interfere by leaning over the wall to grab balls in play, throwing things to distract outfielders, etc. Ditto with digital equipment; it's not part of the standard, pre-approved equipment arsenal teams are expected to go into battle with. To me it seems comparable to corked bats and scuffed balls.

That said, people tend to over-react to sports cheating of all forms, IMO. It's an offense worthy of punishment, but not egregiously so. Something small like fines or suspensions should suffice.
   74. Lassus Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5526880)
who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel

I'm a bit confused about this. This would mean NESN's truck was involved, wouldn't it?

EDIT: I guess this is old-timey 2008 confusion. ALL the replay stuff went directly from the trucks to MLBAM at that point. I neglected to remember that there's a new team room that gets both feeds for the team's replay purposes and THAT's where the "replay personnel" that is referred to was located.
   75. McCoy Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:46 AM (#5526881)
Thing is, which wins to remove? It's too hard to determine which ones might have been impacted by sign stealing, so the NCAA approach would suggest removing all of them. That changes the AL East standings to:

nyy 82 56
bal 77 62
tba 77 63
tor 75 64


Cubs pick up 2 games against the Brewers under this arrangement. I'm all for it! Though it would just mean the closest team in the division would be the Cardinals at 4 games back so the Cubs would only pick up a half game. I'll still take it!
   76. Booey Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:46 AM (#5526882)
Removing wins takes a non-issue and turns MLB into a farce.


I would quite go as far as calling it a complete non-issue, but I agree that removing wins would be a ridiculous farce, on par with not recognizing records because you don't like the conditions that led to them. What happened, happened.
   77. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: September 06, 2017 at 08:56 AM (#5526888)
It's an act that warrants a fine. Who you gonna suspend? Fine them, move on.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:06 AM (#5526892)
As far as the Yankees getting an extra draft choice, the problem is that also disadvantages some innocent parties, the other teams that compete against the Yankees.

True. But if you simply transfer draft picks from the Red Sox to the Yankees, the innocent parties are not harmed. Anyone who competes aganist the Yankees, also competes against the Red Sox. The Cards/Astros situation was different b/c the Astros had switched leagues.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5526895)
It's an act that warrants a fine. Who you gonna suspend? Fine them, move on.

If you want to stop it, you take away draft picks. Teams will simply shrug off fines.
   80. Nasty Nate Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:13 AM (#5526897)
The focus on a situation with a runner on second seems fishy to me. For other situations, does the hitter not have time to glance to the side? If he does, the sequence could be video guy to dugout, and then dugout to hitter (for a righty) or dugout to base coach to hitter.
   81. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:13 AM (#5526898)
True. But if you simply transfer draft picks from the Red Sox to the Yankees, the innocent parties are not harmed.


But the value of that draft pick is artificially decreased because the offending team has illicitly inflated its win total through subterfuge. You need to allow for the normalization of their record and resulting draft slot. Perhaps 3 years of draft picks would do the trick and level the field here.
   82. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:14 AM (#5526899)
True. But if you simply transfer draft picks from the Red Sox to the Yankees, the innocent parties are not harmed. Anyone who competes aganist the Yankees, also competes against the Red Sox. The Cards/Astros situation was different b/c the Astros had switched leagues.


This assumes the Yankees are the only team being harmed here. It seems highly unlikely that the Sox would only do this against the Yankees but not any other teams.
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5526904)
This assumes the Yankees are the only team being harmed here. It seems highly unlikely that the Sox would only do this against the Yankees but not any other teams.

Well, sure, but it's what they can prove. You can also add fines, with the proceeds going to other aggrieved teams.

The league's goal, if they're serious about this issue, is to slap down the Red Sox hard, to put an end to teams doing this. Getting exactly fair results for everyone else is going to be secondary.
   84. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5526911)
It's an act that warrants a fine. Who you gonna suspend?


Tom Brady, presumably.
   85. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5526916)
This assumes the Yankees are the only team being harmed here.


They're the only team that has proven their case to the satisfaction of the league.
   86. jmurph Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:35 AM (#5526918)
I could be proven wrong, obviously, but I think you guys talking about draft picks and suspensions are going to be very disappointed. Manfred's comments don't make him sound like a guy who is about to drop the hammer. But we'll see!

(Also seriously, how many times in baseball history has the league taken away draft picks?)
   87. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5526919)
Does anyone think that the Red Sox are the only team that has done this, or are they the team that got caught?
   88. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:40 AM (#5526923)
I could be proven wrong, obviously, but I think you guys talking about draft picks and suspensions are going to be very disappointed. Manfred's comments don't make him sound like a guy who is about to drop the hammer.


As we've seen in this very thread, "it screws the Yankees" is a perfectly valid defense for many loser-oriented types. Manfred and his Manshoviks were installed by the most overtly anti-Yankee regime in baseball history and his office and mindset is undoubtedly riddled with Budshovism. They'll get a slap on the wrist and join Dombrowski in laughing their loud, braying, Freddie Quimby laugh at all you suckers who endorse their lengthy history of chicanery.
   89. Lassus Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5526924)
EDIT: Couldn't beat the Supreme Shtickshovik.


Does anyone think that the Red Sox are the only team that has done this, or are they the team that got caught?

The latter. Punishment for being stupider than everyone else is fine with me.
   90. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5526925)
Does anyone think that the Red Sox are the only team that has done this, or are they the team that got caught?


Now just demand evidence that no other team has ever done this as a condition of expressing any moral outrage and you'll go full RDP.
   91. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5526926)
Video replay personnel aren't part of the teams active "roster", so to speak, of players and coaches whose job it is to try and help the team win on the field.
Not to be pedantic - I've heard people here don't like that - but isn't it in fact the sole job of video replay personnel to try and help the team win on the field?
   92. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:43 AM (#5526927)
Now just demand evidence that no other team has ever done this as a condition of expressing any moral outrage and you'll go full RDP.


He's a good guy, deep down.
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5526934)
Does anyone think that the Red Sox are the only team that has done this, or are they the team that got caught?

The latter. Punishment for being stupider than everyone else is fine with me.


That's effectively how all systems of "crime" and punishment work. "Do you think my client's the only guy ever to steal a car?" isn't persuasive either.
   94. Dale Sams Posted: September 06, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5526942)
That's effectively how all systems of "crime" and punishment work. "Do you think my client's the only guy ever to steal a car?" isn't persuasive either.


"My client would have to be the stupidest man in the world to have done this, ergo...he didn't"
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5526946)
I repeat that there doesn't seem to be nearly enough time between pitches to pull this kind of thing off.
   96. Nasty Nate Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5526950)
I repeat that there doesn't seem to be nearly enough time between pitches to pull this kind of thing off.
I tend to agree. But if the plan is merely telling the second base runner the code, it only needs to be done once that inning, and then after that the only thing that happens between pitches is the runner signals the hitter in some way.
   97. Rally Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5526952)
I repeat that there doesn't seem to be nearly enough time between pitches to pull this kind of thing off.


When Papelbon was pitching teams used a scout in the CF stands to steal the signs, then sent an elderly usher using a walker to relay the signs to the dugout.
   98. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5526956)
I repeat that there doesn't seem to be nearly enough time between pitches to pull this kind of thing off.

Really? Pitchers average something like 20 seconds between pitches. More with men on base.
   99. Nasty Nate Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:09 AM (#5526957)
Right, but most of that stupid dicking around happens before the sign is put down.
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5526959)
Right, but most of that stupid dicking around happens before the sign is put down.

But there's a lot of time after the sign, where the batter is digging in, getting comfortable, with his stupid hand in the air.

If the batter is expecting a sign, he can very easily buy the extra time.
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