Yankees: Teams steal signs. Oh no, Joe, please say it ain’t so

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) /

The Yankees steal signs. All teams steal signs. My Little League team stole signs. It’s a common practice in baseball and as long as you don’t go “too far,” it’s the same thing as bunting against a fat pitcher. The Red Sox screwed it up for all.

Hopefully, the Yankees have someone in their dugout who is hopefully not only a talented ballplayer but also a gifted stealer of the opposing team’s signs. And if they don’t have someone, they need to find someone, like yesterday.

In baseball, you take what the other team gives you. And if a catcher is not making any attempt to hide his signs to the pitcher from the first and third base coach, that’s his problem and not your. Agreed?

Okay, now let’s say a particular pitcher only brings his glove up the letters on his shirt when delivering a changeup, and someone on the Yankees notices it, that’s his problem and not yours. Agreed?

Or, if the Yankees have a man on second base and he figures out that the “indicator” is the third sign that goes down and the next sign is the one calling for the pitch, that’s the other team’s problem and not yours. Are we still on the same page?

Now, what if a team drills a hole in the center field scoreboard and someone sits there with binoculars so they can see every pitch called, and they transfer using a blinking light or some other code, the message to the batter who is looking directly at them? Mmm, gets a little hairy now, doesn’t it?

Taking it to the limits

What the Red Sox did the other night was just plain stupid, and it puts a black mark on the long treasured art in baseball of stealing signs. And the franchise should be punished dearly for it with a fine of not less than one million dollars.

And yet, no one has told the Red Sox, the Yankees, or all teams, beforehand  they couldn’t use an Apple watch to steal signs. And therein lies the bigger problem facing Major League Baseball (MLB).

Baseball rules are ancient, and some of them fall in the category of municipalities who have a “Don’t spit on the sidewalk” law, but with no way, and sometimes even desire, of enforcing the law.

We are living in the 21st Century and technology is advancing faster than a speeding bullet headed in baseball’s direction. I can virtually guarantee the word “Apple” or “Microsoft:,” or “Google” does not appear anywhere in the MLB rulebook.

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So, what the Red Sox did against the Yankees no less, should, but it probably won’t  make them ashamed of themselves See, it’s not the same as telling a state trooper you “didn’t know” the speed limit was only 35 in this zone because signs are always clearly posted and it’s a driver’s responsibility to note them.

Being ashamed is one thing, though, being guilty is another matter altogether. Because in this case, there was no sign. Still, MLB needs to get the message to the Red Sox, “Hey, you went way too far, here.”

MLB gets to make the call

Mlb has issues bigger than this one to deal with. But deal with it they must. Because sooner or later, some zealous fan of a team, working at NASA, is going to figure out a way of transferring signs from outer space in real time.

In other words, it’s not going stop unless baseball makes it stop.

Using today’s technology to steal signs is not an art, it’s stealing. And moreover, in the same way, Tom Brady’s deflated balls put a black mark on the Patriots (again!), what the BOSTON (get the drift? Red Sox did is put a black mark on all of baseball. And MLB shouldn’t stand for that.

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