Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Sign-stealing Newsbeat

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

20 Big Questions About MLB’s Sign-Stealing Scandal

A sample question-and-answer:

3) Could Manfred suspend or ban players who used cameras, buzzers and other electronic devices?

Yes. Under Article XII of the collective bargaining agreement, Manfred has the authority to take appropriate disciplinary measures against players for conduct that is “materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball.” Cheating is unquestionably damaging to the best interest of Baseball. It undermines the integrity of games and could cost the league substantial revenue if fans are turned off.

Also, no one has a legal “right” to play in a private sports league, just as no one has a right to a job at a private employer. Being kicked out of a pro league is not, in and of itself, an unlawful act by that league.

Lastly, MLB has a long history of suspending and even banning players. Bowie Kuhn banned Ferguson Jenkins after he was found with cocaine and other drugs (Jenkins was later reinstated). Bud Selig banned Steve Howe after a drug offense (Howe was also reinstated).

Lawyers of this site: How much of this analysis would you concur with?

 

QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: lawyers, sign-stealing

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technology

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball’s Analytics Era, and now it’s holding the sport prisoner.

AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport’s rule breakers.

What’s next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia?

Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students’ temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner’s office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.

Prisoners of Technology wasn’t a bad musical, as far as the shows of Bialystock and Bloom went….

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing, technology

Congress to take up MLB sign-stealing scandal? Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush hopes so

MLB’s sign-stealing scandal could be headed for Congress.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., on Friday sent a letter to senior members of the Committee on Energy & Commerce to request an oversight hearing into the cheating scandal that has enveloped MLB in recent days. The committee has oversight over major league sports, Rush’s letter states.

“I believe it is our ethical and moral imperative to investigate the Major League Baseball cheat scandal fully and to determine the extent to which this cancer has spread,” Rush writes. “I firmly believe that our investigation must also look at the actions taken by Major League Baseball, and the teams that comprise it, to reprimand the individuals who have been implicated.”

The letter goes on to say that, although MLB and teams have already taken action against guilty parties — such as Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow — the committee must determine whether league officials acted quickly enough and took appropriate action. It also must determine whether there is a “systematic failure” within MLB that has allowed the illegal sign-stealing problem to fester, the letter states.

Trying to figure out what he gets out of it- his reelections seem safe, the odds are against him running for higher office, and I don’t think there are any minor-league teams being contracted anywhere near him so it doesn’t seem to be payback for that…..

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Yes, more teams than the Astros and Red Sox stole signs, but that doesn’t excuse them

There’s an element to all of this Astros and Red Sox news that keeps coming up that I want to dig in to. Indeed, it’s a thing that comes up every single time a team or a player gets in trouble for something. It’s the “hey, they weren’t the only ones doing it! They were singled out!” defense, almost always mounted by fans of the teams or players who get busted.

First, let’s be 100 percent clear about something: the Astros and the Red Sox were not — not by a long shot — the only teams stealing signs. To suggest that they were is to live in fantasyland. Tom Verducci reported the other day that the investigation of the Astros led to at least seven or eight other teams being mentioned. Last night Michael Baumann of The Ringer linked to stories over the past couple of months in which sources said they believed that the Diamondbacks, Indians, Rangers, Cubs, Blue Jays, Nationals and Brewers have engaged in sign-stealing shenanigans as well.

And hey, from the “it takes one to know one” department, let us not forget this little thing from last summer when, after the Yankees pounded the Red Sox in London, Alex Cora said that the Yankees’ biggest offseason addition was Carlos Beltrán, complete with a wink:

He follows that with “we have to clean our details,” which is an obvious reference to signs. If you think he’s not talking about the Yankees engaging in some sign-stealing, you’re deluding yourself. Which, of course, becomes the jumping off point for that “no fair, we were singled out!” sentiment so many Astros and Red Sox fans have shared in the past few days.

A consideration of a certain kind of commentary- might as well have it in mind now, as I anticipate seeing it deployed shortly…..

 

QLE Posted: January 16, 2020 at 12:21 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, red sox, sign-stealing

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLB sign-stealing investigation turns to Cora, Red Sox

Round two…..

BOSTON (AP) — Alex Cora could be the next World Series-winning manager sent home for stealing signs.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Red Sox skipper was “an active participant” in the sign-stealing scandal that cost Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs Monday. Cora was Houston’s bench coach when the team used electronics to illegally steal signs en route to a World Series championship in 2017.

The commissioner said Cora was among those who “originated and executed” aspects of the cheating scheme, in which the team used a center field camera to decode catchers’ signals to pitchers and banged on a trash can with a bat or massage gun near the dugout to let hitters know which pitch was coming.

Manfred is withholding discipline for Cora until concluding a separate investigation into allegations that Boston used electronics to steal signs in 2018, when the Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 regular season games and a World Series in Cora’s first season as manager.

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 01:16 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, red sox, sign-stealing

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Sources: MLB near decision on discipline for Astros

Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Houston Astros’ illegal use of technology is in its final stages and members of the organization expect commissioner Rob Manfred to decide on the severity of discipline within the next two weeks, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

With witnesses admitting that the Astros used a system to relay pitch types to batters before they were thrown, according to sources, MLB’s coming decisions are twofold: whom to discipline and how harshly to do so.

The targets for discipline will be employees of the team, including the front office and on-field coaching personnel, but will not include the players involved in the scheme, according to three players who have been interviewed. Those who could face discipline include Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, Astros manager AJ Hinch and other front-office members, sources said. The team also could face a record fine.

An MLB spokesman declined to comment.

Given how much sign-stealing has been on our minds today, I’m surprised we hadn’t linked to this before- something of interest to follow in the coming weeks…..

 

QLE Posted: January 08, 2020 at 12:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing

Monday, November 25, 2019

Sources: MLB querying players on Astros sign-stealing allegations

An update on a scandal:

Major League Baseball officials investigating whether the Houston Astros cheated over the past three seasons by electronically stealing signs have asked players associated with the organization what they know about a range of alleged sign-stealing techniques, sources familiar with the conversations told ESPN on Friday.

Players have been asked about “buzzing,” via the use of Band-Aid-like wearable stickers; furtive earpieces; pitch-picking algorithms; and other potential methods of sign-stealing, the sources said. Accusations about the extent of the alleged wrongdoing have streamed into commissioner Rob Manfred’s office from officials of other teams, the sources said. MLB officials are endeavoring to separate fact from fiction, the sources told ESPN, and the league has not concluded whether any such methods actually have been used.

Players who might have violated league rules have been told by MLB officials they can expect leniency in exchange for answering questions truthfully. But members of the Astros’ front office and coaching staff could face significant punishment upon the investigation’s conclusion if they’re found to have cheated, the sources said. The league has requested to search the phones of certain members of the Astros’ front office, the sources said.

 

 

QLE Posted: November 25, 2019 at 01:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, sign-stealing

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Whitewash: Rob Manfred says he doesn’t think sign stealing extends beyond the Astros

Rob Manfred said today that he believes the sign-stealing scandal which has taken over the news in the past week does not extend beyond the Houston Astros. His exact words, via Jeff Passan of ESPN:

“Right now, we are focused on the information that we have with respect to the Astros. I’m not going to speculate on whether other people are going to be involved. We’ll deal with that if it happens, but I’m not going to speculate about that. I have no reason to believe it extends beyond the Astros at this point in time.”

This is simply incredible. As in literally not credible.

It’s not credible because, just last week, in the original story in The Athletic, it was reported that the Astros system was set up by two players, one of whom was “a hitter who was struggling at the plate and had benefited from sign stealing with a previous team, according to club sources . . . they were said to strongly believe that some opposing teams were already up to no good. They wanted to devise their own system in Houston. And they did.”

Commentary on a current scandal, by a long-time site associate.

 

QLE Posted: November 20, 2019 at 12:58 PM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: coverups, manfred is thinking about it, sign-stealing

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Yu Darvish comment fuels Brewers’ sign-stealing speculation, Christian Yelich fires back

Major League Baseball’s sign-stealing saga may have added a new layer on Friday.

While the league’s focus remains on the Houston Astros following allegations of sign stealing during the 2017 season, the Milwaukee Brewers methods came into question after comments by Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish led to speculation that Milwaukee’s bullpen was relaying signs to Christian Yelich during a game in 2019.

In a Los Angeles Times story centered around Darvish’s feelings on the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing allegations, the Cubs right-hander referenced a concerning incident from this season.

“Darvish recalled a game this season in which he stepped off the mound multiple times because he noticed something unusual. Batters typically have their eyes set on the pitcher. In this particular game, he observed they were looking into left-center field.”

And now things begin to escalate….

 

QLE Posted: November 16, 2019 at 12:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: christian yelich, sign-stealing, yu darvish

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

‘The paranoia is real’: Keeping fresh signs top of mind for catcher Kurt Suzuki vs. Astros

HOUSTON — He knows they’re watching. They always watch. Then they rewind, watch again.

He knows they’re looking in from second base, from the corners in the coaches boxes, from who knows where. He knows there are rumors about everywhere, every ballpark in every league, how they do it, how they try, some of their methods fair and some perhaps not.

He knows the reputation here. Everybody knows the reputation here, at Minute Maid Park. He also knows the nature of reputations, how one man’s anxiety, one man’s suspicion, becomes the hardened truth in a league of thousands of men willing to believe the worst, which is precisely how paranoia works, and also why Kurt Suzuki wears a wristband to remind him which pitchers use which set of signs, because there’s an awful lot of moving parts out here. And who knows what else.

After some 12,000 innings back there and hundreds of thousands of pitches called and caught and not caught, and at the end of 13 seasons in which not a single one of those innings or pitches had come in a World Series game, Suzuki on Monday afternoon returned to Minute Maid Park, where he’d caught the first of those innings and the first of those pitches, and where he’d play more than 12 years later in the World Series.

Has he considered consulting the Five Man Electrical Band on this subject?

 

QLE Posted: October 22, 2019 at 01:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, kurt suzuki, sign-stealing

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)
  Beats: astros, sign-stealing, whining bunch of crybabies, yankees-no-fun-as-usual

Monday, October 07, 2019

“You Can’t Trust Nobody’: Inside MLB’s War on High-Tech Sign Stealing

“The paranoia is off the charts,” Astros ace Justin Verlander says. “You saw that last year with us. People thought we were doing something. We were trying to make sure the Indians weren’t doing anything. That was just us being paranoid.”

Predictably, nobody in the game is willing to publicly finger those who were cheating or those whom they believe might be cheating. But given assurances of anonymity, several league sources indicate the Astros, Dodgers, Red Sox, New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks have been especially adept with technological surveillance. One source mentions the Cubs and Washington Nationals dabble a bit “but not as much as others.” Another source says the Indians, while still another notes the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers once were suspected as well.

“Every team,” Jansen says. “You can’t trust nobody. You don’t know.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2019 at 07:53 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: sign-stealing

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
HowardMegdal
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNolan Arenado feels “disrespected” as Rockies GM Jeff Bridich nixes trade talks
(27 - 3:06pm, Jan 21)
Last: bfan

NewsblogEx-M’s ace Félix Hernández has minor league deal with Braves
(13 - 2:57pm, Jan 21)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

NewsblogMLB Source: Cubs 'got fat and happy' after World Series, culture must change
(25 - 2:57pm, Jan 21)
Last: Jeff Francoeur's OPS

NewsblogCardinals sign Matt Wieters to one-year, $2 million deal
(19 - 2:31pm, Jan 21)
Last: Zach

NewsblogJ.D. Martinez says Red Sox are innocent. Now what?
(25 - 2:24pm, Jan 21)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogRyan Thibs’ Hall of Fame Tracker
(1252 - 2:22pm, Jan 21)
Last: Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques

NewsblogWATCH: Carpenter says lack of identity at plate is why he struggled; New focus to not pull the ball
(3 - 2:14pm, Jan 21)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(424 - 2:13pm, Jan 21)
Last: Rally

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread 2020
(551 - 2:08pm, Jan 21)
Last: Fourth True Outcome

NewsblogCubs Fans Boo Chairman Tom Ricketts at Team Convention
(19 - 1:48pm, Jan 21)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

Newsblog20 Big Questions About MLB's Sign-Stealing Scandal
(2 - 1:33pm, Jan 21)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-21-2020
(6 - 1:20pm, Jan 21)
Last: The Mighty Quintana

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (January 2020)
(196 - 1:19pm, Jan 21)
Last: Nakagura775

NewsblogAndy Green ‘fired up’ to be with Cubs, help David Ross any way he can
(5 - 12:08pm, Jan 21)
Last: McCoy

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1923 Discussion
(6 - 12:00pm, Jan 21)
Last: kwarren

Page rendered in 1.2038 seconds
99 querie(s) executed