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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The world just learned of the Astros’ cheating. Inside baseball, it was an open secret.

On the evening of Oct. 22, 2019, a group of umpires, Major League Baseball officials and the brain trusts of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros — the respective general managers, Mike Rizzo and Jeff Luhnow, and managers Dave Martinez and A.J. Hinch — filed into a room beneath Minute Maid Park in Houston for a pre-World Series meeting. While ordinary in nature, the meeting would become notable in the weeks that followed.

Joe Torre, the Hall of Fame manager who now serves as MLB’s chief baseball officer, cut through the standard review of ground rules and other on-field matters with an unusual, “no-shenanigans” warning, according to people familiar with the meeting: No cameras trained on dugouts or catchers, and no electronics in the dugout.

It gets uglier-

reech Posted: February 12, 2020 at 05:37 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, cheating

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   1. The Duke Posted: February 12, 2020 at 10:23 AM (#5923809)
It does indeed get uglier. PR101 is get all the info out the first time. They clearly didn’t do that and now there are 100 drip, drip , drip articles. Of course the reason the full story wasn’t out was because MLB knew what was going on and didn’t take it seriously which they conveniently glossed over. Most Importantly the Altuve story has not been satisfactorily explained which is a 2019 issue.

This all still has the appearance that game-rigging is a risk as of today. Very frustrating. How can the powers that be not be doing everything to clean this up? Where is the players union on demanding expulsions for players caught cheating?

   2. Mefisto Posted: February 12, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5923814)
Much like steroids and amphetamines.
   3. OsunaSakata Posted: February 12, 2020 at 11:13 AM (#5923831)
If Altuve didn't want his shirt ripped off to expose an electronic buzzer, wouldn't his teammates also know, and know not to rip his shirt off? Or were some members of the Astros not aware of the shenanigans?
   4. TJ Posted: February 12, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5923835)
A serious question- I know the majority of primates are against throwing at a hitter as retaliation. If the Astros sign-stealing was indeed an open secret, what are your views on whether it would have been appropriate for an opposing team to tell Astros hitters, "We hear a garbage can banging and someone is getting drilled"?
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 12, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5923836)
If Altuve didn't want his shirt ripped off to expose an electronic buzzer, wouldn't his teammates also know, and know not to rip his shirt off? Or were some members of the Astros not aware of the shenanigans?


The explanation I heard - and I make no pretense that this is anything but a rumor and/or somebody's after-the-fact guess as to an answer - is that the buzzer use was limited to guys under long-term contracts and nobody else knew about it, so as to reduce the risk of other teams finding out about it.
   6. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 12, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5923837)
I know the majority of primates are against throwing at a hitter as retaliation.


Not to minimize the actual risk of serious injury. But I (and I think others) have always been skeptical of "throwing at a hitter as retaliation" in part because it seems kind of ridiculous as a strategy: "I'm so mad at you that I'm going to ... give you a free baserunner. Ha, that'll teach you!"
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: February 12, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5923842)
Not to minimize the actual risk of serious injury. But I (and I think others) have always been skeptical of "throwing at a hitter as retaliation" in part because it seems kind of ridiculous as a strategy: "I'm so mad at you that I'm going to ... give you a free baserunner. Ha, that'll teach you!"


But you are minimizing the risk of injury, because a free base vs. an injured player from your opponent is an easy win for the defense (or, more accurately, loss for the opponent).

Also, it just hurts. Obviously, there are a handful of players who welcome the HBP as part of their offensive arsenal, but most actually get out of the way. They don't want to get hit, free base be damned. If it wasn't considered an offense against the offense, we wouldn't see so many guys get pissed at the pitcher when they do get hit.

   8. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 12, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5923843)
Astros man, not good.

I have to credit posters here for evolving. Lot quicker to say this was garbage. I used the crap search function to see how stuff like the computer hacking thing between the Cards and Astros was received here and back then a lot of posters were like no big deal, this is nothing. There were a few who said this is serious and someone is going to jail and those comments got mocked.

So this place getting better on recognizing what behaviors are not great bob!
   9. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: February 12, 2020 at 12:01 PM (#5923850)
If this was an open secret inside baseball, then it must also have been of limited effectiveness. If you know that your signs are being stolen, then it's pretty easy to change them up. Everyone can see the third base coach, but you usually don't know when he's putting on the hit-and-run.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2020 at 12:04 PM (#5923854)
ok, I laughed

Brendan Kuty
@BrendanKutyNJ
·
31m
Gary Sanchez was asked about Altuve and buzzers. Sanchez said if he hit a HR to send his team to the World Series, “you can rip my pants off.”
   11. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 12, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5923856)
10--that's awesome!
   12. base ball chick Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:00 PM (#5923873)
Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2020 at 12:04 PM (#5923854)
ok, I laughed

Brendan Kuty
@BrendanKutyNJ
·
31m
Gary Sanchez was asked about Altuve and buzzers. Sanchez said if he hit a HR to send his team to the World Series, “you can rip my pants off.”


- man, i wish this pants/shirt ripping off stuff had been around when grady sizemore was playing is all i can say (yes, there ARE a few other guys about who i feel the same way. however, NOT bradley awesomeness - the voltage woulda made mah heart stop beating)
   13. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5923876)
If Altuve didn't want his shirt ripped off to expose an electronic buzzer, wouldn't his teammates also know, and know not to rip his shirt off? Or were some members of the Astros not aware of the shenanigans?


Even if they were aware, with a walk-off playoff series winner people get excited.
   14. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5923879)
Is there new BUZZER BUZZER CALL THE FUZZ....ER proof? Anything?
   15. . Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5923881)
Is there new BUZZER BUZZER CALL THE FUZZ....ER proof? Anything?


The clear video evidence? No one acts that way because they're "too modest" to have their jersey torn off. It wasn't just the "don't tear off my jersey!," it was the sprint to the dugout to put on the black championship t-shirt, rather than just putting it on on the field like everyone else did. And there's other video evidence of Altuve traipsing around happily sans shirt.

Dude's guilty as sin.
   16. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:31 PM (#5923883)
"No" would have been quicker.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:32 PM (#5923884)
Susan Slusser
@susanslusser
A’s manager Bob Melvin, getting yet another round of Astros questions, says Oakland HAD called league about possible cheating BEFORE Fiers allegations. “Everyone was fed up with it,” he says of numerous Houston opponents.
12:40 PM · Feb 12, 2020
   18. winnipegwhip Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5923887)
Are the Astros the Delta House of MLB?

Hinch with Verducci was like Otter in the Probation Hearing. "...we did steal signs, but if you find us guilty isn't this an indictment of all MLB teams and the league as a whole? In fact isn't this an indictment on American sports altogether? Well you can do what you want Manfred. But we are not going to stand around and let you bad mouth the United States of America!!!

I can see Brandon Taubman with an angel and devil on his shoulders advising him whether to yell at the female reporters.
   19. . Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5923889)
"No" would have been quicker.


I don't really follow your video watching, so I didn't know whether you'd actually seen the video. If you've seen it all and don't find it compelling, I doubt any "new" evidence is going to change your mind -- since it seems pretty obviously closed on the matter.
   20. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5923896)
If this was an open secret inside baseball, then it must also have been of limited effectiveness.

If the Astros sign-stealing was indeed an open secret, what are your views on whether it would have been appropriate for an opposing team to tell Astros hitters, "We hear a garbage can banging and someone is getting drilled"?

That's the original reason why batters don't just look down at the catcher to get the sign. You want to get on base easy by looking at the catcher's sign? Fine, here's a free base and a swollen elbow. Simple, effective. The more rules you got, the more corruption you get. Severe punishment is not an effective deterrent.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 12, 2020 at 02:15 PM (#5923907)
- man, i wish this pants/shirt ripping off stuff had been around when grady sizemore was playing is all i can say (yes, there ARE a few other guys about who i feel the same way. however, NOT bradley awesomeness - the voltage woulda made mah heart stop beating)


You are aware Sizemore had a few pictures leaked, yes? deadspin Grady Sizemore does his bit to increase our female readers
   22. base ball chick Posted: February 12, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5923914)
sigh
the brotha is so FINE and that ass is to DIE for, oh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

i did see the pics when they came out, and, well, i didn't dare bookmark them seeing as how Husband used the computer too...

   23. Karl from NY Posted: February 12, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5923920)
That's the original reason why batters don't just look down at the catcher to get the sign.

Keith Hernandez had a passage in one of his books where he talks about peeking to see where the catcher is set up. The trick is to time your look exactly as the pitcher checks on a baserunner so he doesn't see you peek. If he did, Keith's chin would get buzzed by a fastball.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 12, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5923922)

If this was an open secret inside baseball, then it must also have been of limited effectiveness.

It was; supposedly that's why they stopped doing it during the 2018 season.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: February 12, 2020 at 03:26 PM (#5923931)
Why Steve Stone was once a great announcer.

Catcher goes out to the mound for no apparent reason.

Harry: "Ah, Steve, what's going on here? Must be making dinner plans? Ha Ha"
Stone: "Actually, the batter's been peeking to get location and the catcher is telling him that he's going to set up on one side but wants him to throw it to the other side."

Sets up outside, strike 3 on the inside corner as the batter almost dives into the pitch.
   26. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2020 at 04:10 PM (#5923957)
I don't really follow your video watching, so I didn't know whether you'd actually seen the video.
Is there new BUZZER BUZZER CALL THE FUZZ....ER proof?
The way the English language works is that if I qualify "proof" with "new", it implies that I am aware of the current proof. Maybe I have seen it, maybe I haven't (I have); but that's why "new" was used there.


If you've seen it all and don't find it compelling, I doubt any "new" evidence is going to change your mind -- since it seems pretty obviously closed on the matter.

This is stupid, and why people think you're a fake lawyer. (Something else I've never signed on to. You're most likely just a loon who thinks he can read minds over the internet and that attempting to prove a negative is compelling evidence.)

I actually do not think the buzzer is a 100% batshit idea. This is why I asked if additional evidence of such had been shown. I find the idea that no one close by has yet come forward with better information is unusual, if it did occur; but anything's possible. I do feel greater evidence of guilt is required, however, for a definite conclusion (on the buzzer assertion). As in "new" evidence, which being new or greater or additional, would change my mind, Kreskin.
   27. The Duke Posted: February 12, 2020 at 08:09 PM (#5924021)
I know we have no proof on Altuve but who does that? And apparently there are many people who said he was screaming “don’t rip off my jersey “ as he rounded third base. Hinch refusing to discuss the buzzers is also telling. But this is not a technical play that can be run by Altuve himself. I would think there has to be at least two other people in the know. Something will eventually come out.

   28. Walt Davis Posted: February 12, 2020 at 11:11 PM (#5924057)
The way the English language works is that if I qualify "proof" with "new", it implies that I am aware of the current proof.

Nitpick: In English, if something has been proved, it doesn't need "new" proof. If it hasn't been proved, then there is no existing "proof" to which to add "new" proof. I will leave it to our linguists to enlighten us as to how/when "evidence" and "proof" got confused.

Granted, unlike most established dictionaries that google turned up, dictionary.com does allow for "proof" to "produce belief that a thing is true" although that doesn't really get us out of the conundrum. (The other dictionaries offer some variant of "establish" truth.)
   29. redsock Posted: February 13, 2020 at 04:17 AM (#5924081)
So 10-12 teams complain to MLB and nothing happens. Manfred needs to resign.
   30. Greg Pope Posted: February 13, 2020 at 09:06 AM (#5924105)
And apparently there are many people who said he was screaming “don’t rip off my jersey “ as he rounded third base.

Let's say that one of the Astros isn't paying attention and does, in fact, rip off Altuve's jersey. The umpire sees a wire attached to his shoulder running down to a battery pack on his back. What happens? Does the umpire have the power to reverse the homer? Is there a formal protest with the game possibly getting replayed?
   31. Lassus Posted: February 13, 2020 at 09:50 AM (#5924125)
I admit, I almost wish it was definitively true and that #30 did actually happen, primarily to witness the chaos that would ensue.
   32. reech Posted: February 13, 2020 at 10:47 AM (#5924150)
Trevor Bauer for the win:
https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/trevor-bauer-cincinnati-reds-sign-stealing

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