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Sunday, December 01, 2019

‘Losing a war that you weren’t informed of’: Some MLB pitchers are livid over electronic sign stealing – The Athletic

Since The Athletic broke the news that the Houston Astros stole signs electronically in 2017, the fallout has mostly been framed as an Astros vs. the-rest-of-MLB scandal. But this line of thought is misguided, or at least incomplete for a couple of reasons.

First, we don’t necessarily know everything that the Astros were doing, or whether they were the only team to do it. Beyond that, regardless of who was doing what and how widespread it was, both commissioner Rob Manfred and the players union will have to soothe a critical undercurrent if they hope to move the game forward.

The issue? Pitchers want blood.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 08:51 AM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pay site, sign stealing

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   1. Blastin Posted: December 01, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5904714)
Astros are going to set every HBP record if they aren't severely punished
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 01, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5904723)
Yeah, but if the Astros were getting tipped off in the World Series, it obviously did them no good at all. Just like in 1951, when during the period the Giants were stealing signals from the CF clubhouse, they hit better on the road than they did in the Polo Grounds.
   3. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 01, 2019 at 07:32 PM (#5904730)
Andy that may not be true. It is still possible they performed better than they otherwise would have.
   4. The Duke Posted: December 01, 2019 at 08:45 PM (#5904733)
The latest batch of analytics articles at fangraphs discusses the player by player impact and it’s quite eye-opening. In 2017 alone they conclude that the practice may have benefitted the Astros by five wins in the regular season. Who knows what they accomplished in 2018 and 2019.

More good work like this will help people understand just how much they rigged the game in their favor.

Makes one start to wonder just how good the Astros position players really are - would you trade for any of them or sign them at this point?
   5. Sunday silence Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:07 PM (#5904741)
...if the Astros were getting tipped off in the World Series, it obviously did them no good at all.


They won the world series in 2017 Andy. Are you OK?


The latest batch of analytics articles at fangraphs discusses the player by player impact and it’s quite eye-opening. In 2017 alone they conclude that the practice may have benefited the Astros by five wins in the regular season


Yeah its pretty annoying. The one I read was their swing and miss rate went off the charts starting about May 10 2017 when their signalling ops supposedly went into effect. There's a lot more info that is out there so people should be careful about drawing conclusions about how de minimis this effect might have been.
   6. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:12 PM (#5904742)
"May have"?
   7. John Northey Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:46 PM (#5904748)
I think the question becomes how do you protect against it? Having someone in the stands with a good camera that sends a signal to the dugout would be near impossible to stop (how to tell from a dedicated fan). A device ban on the bench might help, but that wouldn't stop the garbage can stuff, or switching to a laser pen or something else (ear piece that gets signals from the clubhouse) that would be very hard to catch.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 01, 2019 at 10:53 PM (#5904750)
Andy. Are you OK?
Said Andy are you OK? Are you OK Andy? Andy are you OK? Andy are you OK? Are you OK Andy?
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: December 01, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5904752)
They won the world series in 2017 Andy. Are you OK?


They've played in one since then. I suspect that was the specific series OK Andy was referring to.

   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 01, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5904753)
In 2017 alone they conclude that the practice may have benefited the Astros by five wins in the regular season


The Astros were five games better on the road than they were at home in 2017. This doesn't pass the smell test.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: December 01, 2019 at 11:27 PM (#5904754)
Andy hasn't been OK since Mazeroski's HR in the 1960 World Series.
   12. Tin Angel Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:52 AM (#5904759)
Said Andy are you OK? Are you OK Andy? Andy are you OK? Andy are you OK? Are you OK Andy?


Had no idea ElRoy was into Alien Ant Farm.
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:02 AM (#5904761)

In 2017 alone they conclude that the practice may have benefited the Astros by five wins in the regular season

This is certainly meaningful, but they won the division by 21 games that year.
   14. Bug Selig Posted: December 02, 2019 at 07:30 AM (#5904764)
Are we really going to go down the "Cheating is OK as long as you didn't need to cheat" road again?
   15. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5904767)
I'm happy to go with "cheating is bad, cheaters should be punished" while still stopping short of the somewhat operatic garment-rending that has occurred over this.
   16. Blastin Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5904769)
It seems like they clearly were still a good team and would have won all these division titles. But it's hard to see the "lucky breaks" the same way.

The most recent analysis at BP is pretty damning, and that's only the obvious banging. Who knows what else they've gotten up to.

If I'm Manfred I threaten any former Astros player/exec with, "look, either you tell us what you know or if you say you didn't know and we find out, that's it for you." The Braves GM got banned for the latter more than the actual act.
   17. bunyon Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:09 AM (#5904771)
Right. They need to be punished and MLB needs to figure out either a way to stop it or to make us think it's been stopped. I have a feeling what we'll get is every team going to complicated signals (as the Nats did) all the time and game times will lengthen.

But it's hard to see how this was decisive. And there is some data suggesting it hurt them, which I can believe. A lot of hitting is reacting. If you're focusing on one extra thing, I can imagine the need to process the information does more harm than the information helps. THAT IS NOT EXCUSING WHAT THEY'VE DONE. It's just that everyone is acting like this is the shell game where, simply by having the information, you've won. I think the jury is out that this sort of sign-stealing is obviously a huge benefit to a hitter. For some, it probably is. For others, I can imagine it hurts. Most are probably in the middle.

Whatever the case, the Astros have managed to badly mangle any claim they might have had to "all-time great". Losing a series and then finding out they were cheating during their historic stretch knocks them down many pegs.
   18. McCoy Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5904773)
How many scuffed and doctored balls did the pitchers gets to throw? How many phantom strikes vs phantom balls did they get?
   19. Blastin Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5904774)
How many different versions of "it's okay because other cheating" will we get? Enough.
   20. Blastin Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:20 AM (#5904776)
I agree it's not dispositive that it was the sole reason they suddenly seemed to get better. I think it probably helped some, and if helping some makes the team better, that probably made everyone play better overall (they score more, have to hit against worse pitchers, they score more off them, etc).

With that said, the quid pro quo doesn't have to succeed to be bad. I also think we're looking for provable impact because... we are going to have to wait months for a conclusion and there's not much else to be done while waiting.
   21. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5904778)
But it's hard to see how this was decisive.


The 2017 Astros won both the ALCS and the World Series by a single game. In the ALCS, they won two home games by one run apiece. In the World Series, they won home games by one and two runs. It would take very little provable impact to call their World Championship into question.
   22. flournoy Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5904779)
I think the jury is out that this sort of sign-stealing is obviously a huge benefit to a hitter. For some, it probably is. For others, I can imagine it hurts. Most are probably in the middle.


I'm curious about everyone here's experience with this. As a hitter, I was many levels below major league quality, to say the least, so my experience is probably not even relevant. But I was a lot better when my approach was "see the ball, hit the ball," rather than thinking about what was coming. Anything more than, "If it's a strike and I can hit it hard, swing," was too much for me to process.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5904780)
I was more of a "see the ball, miss the ball" type of hitter.

I do remember facing a guy with a gimmick knuckleball. I think he had me 0-2 or 1-2 or something and then his teammates just flat out started yelling "give him the knuckler" so I decided beforehand just not to swing, and he threw it for a ball.
   24. bunyon Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5904782)
I'm curious about everyone here's experience with this. As a hitter, I was many levels below major league quality, to say the least, so my experience is probably not even relevant. But I was a lot better when my approach was "see the ball, hit the ball," rather than thinking about what was coming. Anything more than, "If it's a strike and I can hit it hard, swing," was too much for me to process.


That's basically where I'm coming from. And, like I say, for some of the hitters, that info is probably enormously helpful. For some, it will be neutral and, I'd guess, it will hurt some. Which might be why they do worse at home. Really help a couple of guys. Hurt a few more. Net negative.

Unless one of the guys it helps hits a game winning homer or something.



I think it's possible to analyze the effects without analyzing the ethics. The ethics are crystal clear and there is no need to discuss. If anyone just wants to write criticism of them, be my guest. It just doesn't interest me.
   25. Blastin Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5904783)
Unless one of the guys it helps hits a game winning homer or something.


Well, they've hit a few of those
   26. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5904786)
Jose's simple fix: TAKE THE MONITORS OUT OF THE DUGOUT, BULLPENS AND CLUBHOUSES!!!!

There is no reason for those to be there (fine, have one closely monitored by an MLB official for replay if we must but I don't think we need that either). But why on earth should there be a monitor in those locations?
   27. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5904787)
22 - Alex Cora had a rep as a player of being a great sign stealer. I recall that Manny Ramirez HATED when Cora tried to tip him. Manny just wanted to "see ball hit ball." I suspect each player has a different approach to being tipped.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5904788)
I think the jury is out that this sort of sign-stealing is obviously a huge benefit to a hitter. For some, it probably is. For others, I can imagine it hurts. Most are probably in the middle.


I think sign-stealing is overwhelmingly likely to be a benefit to the hitter, sometimes a huge one.

I know that players are creatures of habit and that sometimes these things are unpredictable - for example, the way that runners seem unwilling or unable to take major advantage of Jon Lester's non-pickoff. And I know that there are probably hitters that are almost 100% "see the ball, hit the ball," that would not benefit from it.

But there's a good reason signs have been shielded from hitters for generations, and why sign-stealing is a thing people care about. I think it's unlikely that it's mostly all just hot air and that it doesn't matter.

And if the trash can thumps were actually disruptive for any one hitter, it doesn't take much self-knowledge for him to realize this and politely request to discontinue the scheme while he was at the plate. Or to ignore them.
   29. bunyon Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5904789)
Unless one of the guys it helps hits a game winning homer or something.


Well, they've hit a few of those


It was sarcasm.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5904806)
Had no idea ElRoy was into Alien Ant Farm.
I mean, who isn't? I celebrate their entire catalog.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5904807)

But I was a lot better when my approach was "see the ball, hit the ball," rather than thinking about what was coming.

IIRC, there was some discussion during the World Series broadcast that Springer is this type of hitter. And he's obviously been a monster during the postseason, including winning the 2017 WS MVP. I haven't read all TFAs on this topic so not sure what's been said about his participation in this scheme.

I've been pretty clear in other threads in my view that if they broke the rules, throw the book at them, so I am not trying to minimize the cheating at all.
   32. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5904810)
Jose's simple fix: TAKE THE MONITORS OUT OF THE DUGOUT, BULLPENS AND CLUBHOUSES!!!!


That works if you can't send the feed to a tablet or phone.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5904825)
That works if you can't send the feed to a tablet or phone.

Then go back to the ban on all devices.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5904828)
Catchers scribbles the call on a piece of paper, the AMAZON drone flies it out to the pitcher, repeat until the pitcher agrees to a sign. Shouldn't take long. :-)

The easy cosmetic solution is pitches called from the dubout and earpieces for P and C ... and even as hackable as that system might be, it can't be any more hackable than the current one.

Or robo-umps and then the pitcher can throw whatever he wants and the C has to react like the batter does without putting a human's (well, umpire's) life in danger.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5904829)
The easy cosmetic solution is pitches called from the dubout and earpieces for P and C ... and even as hackable as that system might be, it can't be any more hackable than the current one.

The big problem with this is the hacking will be even less detectable. At least with the current system you have a chance of catching them.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5904856)
Could that hacking actually result in criminal charges, though? If so, I'd think that would be a pretty reasonable deterrent.
   37. RoyalFlush Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5904868)
I have trouble believing that any MLB hitter wouldn't want to know a breaking ball/splitter is (or isn't) coming. Which I think is all they were identifying.

Maybe it's the cynic in me, but I have trouble believing the "yeah it works for some guys, but I just prefer to react without knowing" line.
   38. bunyon Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5904879)
That works if you can't send the feed to a tablet or phone.

Then go back to the ban on all devices.


This would be my move. Hell, I'd make the dugout a Faraday cage and prevent them leaving. Hopefully cuts down on mid-game interviews, too.
   39. Sunday silence Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5904882)
Which might be why they do worse at home. Really help a couple of guys. Hurt a few more. Net negative.


Honestly you havent thought this through have you?

Why would the Astros go apparently almost an entire season doing this? if reports are to be believed?

If it wasnt helping you, then you simply tell them dont signal me when up at bat.

Why on earth would anyone steal signs if it wasnt beneficial? And why pray tell would the Astos risk the wrath of everyone on the planet if it wasnt benefitting them?
   40. Joey B. Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5904883)
"Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out."
Proverbs 10:9
   41. bunyon Posted: December 02, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5904893)
Why on earth would anyone steal signs if it wasnt beneficial? And why pray tell would the Astos risk the wrath of everyone on the planet if it wasnt benefitting them?

Yes, everything everyone does is always beneficial to them.
   42. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 02, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5904909)
That works if you can't send the feed to a tablet or phone.


Then go back to the ban on all devices.

This would be my move. Hell, I'd make the dugout a Faraday cage and prevent them leaving. Hopefully cuts down on mid-game interviews, too.

Concur. This shouldn't be that difficult to enforce.
   43. RoyalFlush Posted: December 02, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5904913)
Yes, everything everyone does is always beneficial to them.


No one said it was.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 02, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5904915)
This shouldn't be that difficult to enforce.
Only if MLB is willing to do strip searches and body cavity checks of all personnel.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5904952)
Only if MLB is willing to do strip searches and body cavity checks of all personnel.

There are devices that block Wifi and cell signals, you know.
   46. McCoy Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5904959)
I say let there be the reading of signs. Fans like offense and yet the whole game is setup to benefit the defense.

Let hitters get info and let the teams that figure out a way to nullify that succeed.
   47. Blastin Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5904960)
And now we've gone all the way over into "eh, it's not that bad" again.

   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5904962)
Let hitters get info and let the teams that figure out a way to nullify that succeed.
As long as you're OK with 4.5 hour games every day of the regular season, sure!
   49. McCoy Posted: December 02, 2019 at 03:48 PM (#5904964)
And now we've gone all the way over into "eh, it's not that bad" again.

That you've decided the one true way to view this is largely meaningless.

they broke a rule. They should be punished. That they did or did not break a rule is not what I'm interested in talking about.

As long as you're OK with 4.5 hour games every day of the regular season, sure!

Considering that I don't watch baseball I'd be fine with that.
   50. Rob_Wood Posted: December 02, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5904998)
Dear lord.
   51. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5905000)

There are devices that block Wifi and cell signals, you know.


Without affecting the reception of the season-ticket holders sitting above the dugouts?
   52. caspian88 Posted: December 02, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5905001)
There are devices that block Wifi and cell signals, you know.


I don't think the fans in the seats above and immediately adjacent to the dugouts would appreciate this.
   53. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 02, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5905003)
I don't think the fans in the seats above and immediately adjacent to the dugouts would appreciate this.
Yeah, imagine being trapped in those seats with nothing to do but watch the damn baseball game.
   54. The Duke Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5905156)
I think they need big penalties , ban all tech and station mlb personnel in the dugout, bullpen and clubhouse as well as constant scanning of CF area for Telescopes, cameras etc. integrity of game at risk. Maybe they could add some umpires to play these roles or repurpose umpires for this
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5905170)
I don't think the fans in the seats above and immediately adjacent to the dugouts would appreciate this.

Well they can just go into the luxury lounge if they desperately need to check facebook.
   56. Rusty Priske Posted: December 03, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5905291)
Considering that I don't watch baseball I'd be fine with that.


Legit question... if you don't watch baseball, why are you even here?
   57. RoyalFlush Posted: December 03, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5905299)
The easy cosmetic solution is pitches called from the dubout and earpieces for P and C ... and even as hackable as that system might be, it can't be any more hackable than the current one.


Why is this system inherently hackable? Seems to work in the NFL.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5905300)
Why is this system inherently hackable?

Because all over the air, open channel (i.e. non-coded) transmissions are inherently insecure.

Seems to work in the NFL.

How do you know there aren't teams hacking it today?
   59. Sunday silence Posted: December 03, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5905308)
I think the Death Penalty. As in literally the Death Penalty.

COngress would be up for it since they have a hard-on for baseball and keeping it you know, America's Sport.

And god knows the millions of red necks in Red states will be up for greater use of the death penalty. Its a win win.
   60. Zach Posted: December 03, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5905367)
so I decided beforehand just not to swing, and he threw it for a ball.

That right there would be a significant advantage, though:

"This pitcher can't locate his curve. I'm going to let every breaking ball go."

"I can't get around on this guy's fastball. I'm only swinging at off speed pitches."

No high speed reactions required.
   61. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2019 at 05:56 PM (#5905382)
Because there is more to baseball than watching it. But hell, a huge chunk of posters here don't like the current game and s bunch of them are always threatening to walk away from the game.
   62. Sunday silence Posted: December 04, 2019 at 07:36 AM (#5905445)
preserved fish's career highlite is working the count to 2 and 2?

Ok.
   63. . Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:21 AM (#5905456)
The current game is a disaster— almost intentionally unappealing. The weirdo sign stealing is just another note in the same yucky key.
   64. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5905459)
preserved fish's career highlite is working the count to 2 and 2?


Enjoy the small victories.
   65. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5905460)

Legit question... if you don't watch baseball, why are you even here?


Not directly related to McCoy or anyone else but there seems to be something about baseball that lends itself to people feeling like they have to explain that they dislike it and why. There are plenty of people out there who don't like other sports and they manage to just not like them in silence. I don't watch football or basketball, I don't feel the need to jump into those threads or tell my friends why I don't want to watch a Celtics or Patriots game, I just manage to do it.

This isn't meant as a criticism of anyone, just an observation of something that puzzles me.
   66. . Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5905463)
Ummm because a lot of us have a history of liking baseball and still like talking about it? There’s still the stuff of a really appealing sport there and it would be nice to see it.
   67. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5905467)
My point is this isn't just Baseball Think Factory related. I hear this in the wild as well. The number of people who feel the need to tell me why they don't like baseball in some detail. It never seems to be enough to say "oh I'm not a fan" it's "oh I'm not a fan because of this list of reasons."
   68. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5905468)
I'm a fan of baseball. I liked playing baseball and like playing softball. I like the history of the majors. I find watching a game and it having it be my main focus to be incredibly boring. It's a very good sport for having on the radio in the background.

Perhaps you don't encounter this for other sports because other sports don't have a lot of "others" that can people interested.
   69. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: December 04, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5905470)
Pretty much what McCoy said, except that my lack of interest in actually watching extends to the various other sports -- some of which I'm otherwise quite interested in -- as well.
   70. Carl Goetz Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5905487)
The anonymous pitcher quoted in the headline wasn't aware he was in a war with each batter he faced? I know this is semantics, but he should have been aware he was in a war and that some unscrupulous people cheat. The article is interesting, but the quote in the headline is just dumb.
   71. Eddo Posted: December 04, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5905539)
My first take on this is: the Astros broke an established rule and should be punished.

My second take is: moving forward, I would also not care if this weren't a rule. I think of it this way: if we were re-administering baseball (that is, we have the base concept, in the same way you play in your local park, but are making it "professional"), would we consider "catcher must be able to secretly signal the pitcher" an inherent rule? Personally, I don't think so.

Another way to think of this is, let's say that 100 years ago, catchers giving signs to pitchers weren't a thing. Instead, we considered a good catcher to be one who could catch whatever the pitcher decided to throw, even if he didn't know it was coming. Now, in 2019, an intrepid catcher said, "Hey, I'm going to start signalling to my pitcher." Would we then make a rule that the other team isn't allowed to intercept his sign?

That said, I completely understand that others will disagree about this.

My third take is: I think the general premise of this article is a little garbage. The Astros have not had the exact same set of players / pitchers since they started doing this. If this were so offensive to pitchers at large, why didn't any of them blow the whistle on this as soon as they moved to another team? Or why wouldn't a hitter who moved suggest that his new team do this? Something seems a little fishy here...
   72. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5905552)
If this were so offensive to pitchers at large, why didn't any of them blow the whistle on this as soon as they moved to another team?


I don't know, the allegation here is that they started doing this two years ago - I think at least one Fangraphs article based their analysis on this starting in May 2017 - and the allegation did, in fact, come directly from a former Astros pitcher who blew the whistle on it. This isn't some uncovered secret from decades past that was being kept secret by 100 people. Heck, would Astros relief pitchers even necessarily know about this? (Starting pitchers would have at least noticed the garbage can banging in the dugout.)
   73. SoSH U at work Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5905558)
Another way to think of this is, let's say that 100 years ago, catchers giving signs to pitchers weren't a thing. Instead, we considered a good catcher to be one who could catch whatever the pitcher decided to throw, even if he didn't know it was coming. Now, in 2019, an intrepid catcher said, "Hey, I'm going to start signalling to my pitcher." Would we then make a rule that the other team isn't allowed to intercept his sign?


I would assume the signs aren't just for the catcher. The infielders should want to know what pitch is coming as well.

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