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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Yankees think Astros are stealing signs by whistling

During the 2018 postseason there was a bit of a thing involving the Indians and Red Sox thinking that the Astros were stealing signs and/or spying on their dugouts via the stationing of a team employee nearby. That controversy came and went with Major League Baseball issuing a statement that nothing untoward had happened.

Flash forward to this week and, once again, someone is accusing the Astros of stealing signs. This time, however, the accusation involves a far lower-tech means of doing it. From Andy Martino of SNY:

“Yankees players and coaches became angry with the Astros during Game 1 of the ALCS when they noticed a whistling sound in the Astros’ dugout — which they believed was an over-the-line example of sign stealing, and a violation of the game’s unwritten rules.

According to three sources, a Yankees coach noticed a whistling sound in the opposing dugout on certain pitches on Saturday night in Houston. The Yankees started yelling across the field, and people in the dugouts argued back and forth.

“The whole dugout was pissed,” said one source. “Everyone was chirping.””

Meanwhile, Aaron Boone is getting increasingly convinced that Carlos Correa is hypnotizing Yankees players with his teeth…..

 

QLE Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:06 AM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, sign-stealing, whining bunch of crybabies, yankees-no-fun-as-usual

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   1. Bug Selig Posted: October 17, 2019 at 07:35 AM (#5891216)
If the whole dugout is whistling, it seems more likely that the pitcher is tipping than signs are being stolen.
   2. O Tempura, O Morays ('Spos) Posted: October 17, 2019 at 07:57 AM (#5891219)
So no-one on the Yankees knows how to whisle on every g-dmn pitch?
   3. The Duke Posted: October 17, 2019 at 08:45 AM (#5891223)
I find the whole sign-stealing thing ridiculous. Can’t the Astros simply win with their much better team? It’s all so Un-becoming like a-rod barking in a fielders ear when he’s trying to catch a pop-up. It’s legal but not good sportsmanship
   4. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5891241)
That is one weird comment.

The losing teams are CLAIMING the much better team can't win without stealing signs.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5891244)
I thought players on the field were allowed (by the unwritten rules) to steal signs.
   6. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5891246)
Yankee players.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5891249)

I thought players on the field were allowed (by the unwritten rules) to steal signs.


Players often get pissy about it*, and in the past would put a fastball in the ribs of a batter if they thought it was going on.

But teams use somewhat complex signs, and change them as necessary, because they expect the other team is going to try to steal them. So, the Yankees don't really have much of a gripe here.

*Keeping in mind that there is almost nothing that major league ballplayers can't work themselves into a lather over.

   8. catomi01 Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5891252)
I thought players on the field were allowed (by the unwritten rules) to steal signs.


I think the issue is that the Astros are being very obvious about it. Arod, Ortiz and crew talked about it during the LDS, but the Astros looked like giddy school children as soon as they figured things out. If you do it, and beat the other team that is one thing (apparently), but if you do it and jump up and down everytime the pitcher shows his tell, its across the line I guess? Bregman seems to the ringleader in looks like, and he's definitely got a bit of an overconfident air to him that I can see prickly ball players taking issue with.

My answer to that though, is if the Astros are that good at it, and that obvious when succeed - how is someone in the Yankees (and other teams') dugout not picking it up, and correcting it on the spot...burn a mound visit and fix the problem, and its not a problem any more, no?
   9. bunyon Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5891261)
Right. If you know the other team is stealing your signs then, uh, fix your signs.

I mean, I'm a little pissed at the Astros for tipping their hand, too. Because I want them to win. Steal the signs and shut up about it.

Unless making the Yankees think they've stolen the signs is the joke.
   10. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5891262)
Yeah to me it's a matter of technology. I don't think it would be OK to use binoculars in the bullpen or clubhouse televisions to steal signs but if a guy in the dugout can pick up a sign or see a pitcher tipping pitches...hey that's too bad.

Of course I'm enough of an old fart that my way of dealing with someone stealing signs would be to call an off-speed pitch away then put a fastball between the numbers.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5891264)
Just so we're clear - whistling is off-limits, but repeatedly pounding the bat against the dugout ceiling is still good, right?

   12. bunyon Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5891265)
Of course I'm enough of an old fart that my way of dealing with someone stealing signs would be to call an off-speed pitch away then put a fastball between the numbers.

You don't even have to hit him. Call the change away and throw a fastball on the inside part of the plate. Free strike. Hell, I'd set up a full five pitch sequence before heading out for the inning and call something different each time. Free out.

It's like these guys have never run a counter intelligence op.
   13. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5891266)
Do they call it "stealing signs" when someone is actually tipping pitches? The Rays' Glasgow admitted he was tipping pitches. That's not stealing signs.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 17, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5891267)
Where are our headline pedants from the "baseball cards got weird" thread? Clearly the whistling is not accomplishing the stealing of the signs. Headline should be something like "Yankees think Astros are announcing they're stealing signs by whistling."
   15. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5891268)
Wait, is sign stealing against the unwritten rules? I thought it was fair game if you did it with your own damn eyeballs.
   16. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 17, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5891269)
Where are our headline pedants from the "baseball cards got weird" thread? Clearly the whistling is not accomplishing the stealing of the signs. Headline should be something like "Yankees think Astros are announcing they're stealing signs by whistling."


Pedantry, shmedantry. It's a bad hed, period. (I've written a few thousand in my time.)
   17. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5891273)
"Yanks Blow Whistle On Houston Whistling"
   18. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5891316)
Unless making the Yankees think they've stolen the signs is the joke.


That would be delicious. Don't steal the signs at all, but work the Yankees up into increasingly severe paranoid states anyway. Force them to come up with incredibly complicated systems of signs and change them every few pitches. There might even be practical benefits (aside from the dubious value of "getting in their head"), force them to use sufficiently complicated signs, and change them often enough, and eventually Takana and Sanchez (or whomever) will get crossed up.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5891321)
I think making the Yankees believe the Astros were stealing signs is considerably more likely than they were using whistling as a mechanism for delivering sign-stealing information.
   20. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5891322)
It's like these guys have never run a counter intelligence op.


My father was in the secret service, Mr Manfredjinsonbunyon and I know perfectly well that you don't keep the other team informed when you are stealing signs in that other team's stadium.

Not unless you are congenitally insane, or irretrievably stupid ...
   21. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5891327)
Just so we're clear - whistling is off-limits, but repeatedly pounding the bat against the dugout ceiling is still good, right


If pounding your bat against the dugout ceiling is wrong ... I don't want to be right.
   22. The Duke Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5891328)
Again, if they are faming it, it’s not good sportsmanship. It’s not a good look for the league. This whole thing that’s begun in the last couple years with the cards in everyone’s back pocket just seems contrary to the sport. I wish they’d all knock it off and focus on playing the game. The whole Ralph branca sitn-stealing thing has ruined that story for me. It’s a much lesser story when you know Thompson knew what pitch was coming

“The mystique of the Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff had been taking a beating in the past year, thanks to a bombshell revelation in The Wall Street Journal that fleshed out decades of rumors that the Giants used an elaborate scheme to steal catchers’ signs. Since the story broke, denials and evasiveness from the 1951 Giants have been replaced by cheerful pride.”

   23. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5891332)


That would be delicious. Don't steal the signs at all, but work the Yankees up into increasingly severe paranoid states anyway. Force them to come up with incredibly complicated systems of signs and change them every few pitches. There might even be practical benefits (aside from the dubious value of "getting in their head"), force them to use sufficiently complicated signs, and change them often enough, and eventually Takana and Sanchez (or whomever) will get crossed up.


In the 2006 World Cup game between Argentina and Germany the game came down to penalty kicks. Each team got five penalty kicks against the opposing keeper. On the first four German keeper Jens Lehmann pulled a piece of paper out of his sock, reviewed notes he had made on the relevant taker.

For the final kick the Argentines sent up a guy named Esteban Cambiasso for the last kick. Cambiasso was not a guy who regularly took kicks so they figured Lehmann wouldn't have notes. Sure enough, Lehmann took out his piece of paper and studied it at length. He then returned it to his sock and sure enough Cambiasso's kick was saved ending the game and giving Germany the win.

The great thing is Lehmann had no notes on Cambiasso. He just wanted to get in his head so Ccambiasso wouldn't shoot with the conviction a penalty kick needs.
   24. villageidiom Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5891335)
This whole thing that’s begun in the last couple years with the cards in everyone’s back pocket just seems contrary to the sport.
It in no way seems contrary to the sport. The fielders each consulting a card rather than the bench coach consulting a card and then motioning to the fielders to move to their left is a distinction without a difference.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5891337)
For the final kick the Argentines sent up a guy named Esteban Cambiasso for the last kick. Cambiasso was not a guy who regularly took kicks so they figured Lehmann wouldn't have notes. Sure enough, Lehmann took out his piece of paper and studied it at length. He then returned it to his sock and sure enough Cambiasso's kick was saved ending the game and giving Germany the win.

The great thing is Lehmann had no notes on Cambiasso. He just wanted to get in his head so Ccambiasso wouldn't shoot with the conviction a penalty kick needs.
So much speculation and post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc in that narrative...
   26. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5891339)
On the first four German keeper Jens Lehmann pulled a piece of paper out of his sock, reviewed notes he had made on the relevant taker.

Do soccer fans complain about the pace of play? Because if so, eliminating "goalkeeper reviewing notes kept in his sock" would be a good place to start.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5891341)
Yeah, what gives the goalie the right to make the kicker wait while he stands there pretending to study notes at length?
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5891346)
I don't watch much soccer, but I think there is some time in between penalty kicks - they don't just line up 5 balls and do it rapid-fire.
   29. jmurph Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5891350)
Do soccer fans complain about the pace of play? Because if so, eliminating "goalkeeper reviewing notes kept in his sock" would be a good place to start.

Is the argument that this is actually contributing to the pace of play issues in baseball? Because it looks to me like they look at the notes for mere seconds while the next batter strolls to the plate.
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 17, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5891351)
Maybe the Yankee players just heard that obnoxious whistling jingle the team plays after every strikeout.
   31. O Tempura, O Morays ('Spos) Posted: October 17, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5891358)
It's like these guys have never run a counter intelligence op.


Like whistling on every pitch. It's not rocket science.
   32. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 17, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5891359)
Is the argument that this is actually contributing to the pace of play issues in baseball? Because it looks to me like they look at the notes for mere seconds while the next batter strolls to the plate.

I'm just talking about soccer, which I have almost no familiarity with. But I'm firmly in the pro-pitch clock camp wrt pace of play in baseball. If the pitcher can look at notes within the pitch clock, more power to him.

I don't watch much soccer, but I think there is some time in between penalty kicks - they don't just line up 5 balls and do it rapid-fire.

Well they should!
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 17, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5891406)

I don't watch much soccer, but I think there is some time in between penalty kicks - they don't just line up 5 balls and do it rapid-fire.

They alternate one team after the other so there is naturally some time between kicks. And it's really not a pace-of-play issue; I mean what percentage of games go to PKs? I presume it's a relatively small portion of games and only in tournaments -- and by the time a game gets to that point it's almost by definition an exciting game.
   34. bunyon Posted: October 17, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5891410)
and by the time a game gets to that point it's almost by definition an exciting game.

It's by definition a tense game. Many times, it's a bore as, after a certain point, the teams are tired and playing very conservatively to preserve the chance at 50/50 in PKs.

Many soccer fans seem to find PKs exciting. I admit, I don't get it.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: October 17, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5891411)
Many soccer fans seem to find PKs exciting. I admit, I don't get it.


I'd say they're suspenseful, but also a gimmicky way to end a game*.

* And this view has nothing to do with my son's team getting eliminated in the sectional championship game Saturday on PKs.

   36. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 17, 2019 at 05:15 PM (#5891413)
1) if you are stealing signs, be cool about it and keep the advantage you have under wraps.

2) if you know the other team is stealing your signs, be cool about, do the opposite of what you are doing and totally throw them off their game until they figure out that you have caught them stealing the signs.

This is not the stuff of rocket science.(but then again, these are ballplayers....)
   37. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 17, 2019 at 05:43 PM (#5891422)
I like to think that the whistling approximates the synth in Devo's immortal Come Back Jonee (first thing of theirs I ever heard, courtesy of a video on Don Kirshner -- or was it Midnight Special? -- a few weeks before the debut album came out).
   38. Omineca Greg Posted: October 17, 2019 at 08:16 PM (#5891442)
...the synth in Devo's immortal Come Back Jonee


It made me think of the old Samuel Lover classic "The Whistling Thief". So this is going back about 200 years.

It's an Irish love song. The lyrics are kind of confusing right out of the gate. Pat is up to thievery all right, he wants to steal young Mary's...virtue. And Mary's right in to it, but there's no way her mother is going to let it happen. It's confusing because Mary is also called Colleen, but that's just an Irishism, don't pay it any mind, Pat only has eyes for Mary. Anyway, Pat is lurking around in the middle of the night, and he has a secret signal to let Mary know it's time for her to come out and get it on. "We’re all sensitive people with so much to give, Understand me, sugar, Since we got to be, let’s live, I love you, There’s nothing wrong with me loving you, baby no no, And giving yourself to me can never be wrong, If the love is true, oh baby ooh". I mean, this song was written in 1820something, so it's not so explicit; the secret signal is a whistle.

But Mary's mother is really suspicious, "What's that sound, Mary?". And then that's when the fun begins, Mary has all sorts of lame excuses as to why there's this whistling noise outside.

Do they or don't they? I know everyone here is a sex crazed pervie and that's all you care about, but too bad, I'm not going to give it away. If you want to find out you're going to have to endure all 2:09 of it. Probably by now you're wondering if this is any better than songs about "da club" or "Don't want to meet your Daddy/just want you in my Caddy/Don't want to meet your Mama/just wanna make you cumma". I don't know, but I do know this song pre-dates recorded music, so if this doesn't make it for you, you sure shouldn't be blaming it on those damn kids.

The Whistling Thief
   39. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2019 at 09:03 PM (#5891459)
It does not make me think of Toots Thielemans, because come on, they can't be that good at whistling.

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