Perhaps overly suspicious because of their first-hand knowledge of just how esoteric, goofy and out-in-the-open a cheating scheme can be, the Sox, down 5-0, went into hyper-alert mode in the seventh inning of Sunday’s extremely unlikely loss.
Like a hero reborn, Christian Vazquez sprung into action just in time, halting play with DJ LeMahieu up and two men on because of a grave offense taking place in the center field seats.
See, Vazquez spotted a sign-stealing cheater on par with the Astros’ trash can banger … or, more likely, he spotted a guy with a watch standing in front of a light. Same deal.
It seems there may have been a red light flashing in center field, though subsequent replays seemed to capture only a fan’s wrist glinting?
Who’s to say for sure what Vazquez saw, but with the game all but decided, it seemed like another extremely petty moment in a long line of ’em this weekend.
Christian Vazquez thinks the Yankees were cheating with a flashing red light.
So, according to Vazquez’s grand idea of a large-scale cheating scheme, the Yankees promoted half of their lineup from Triple-A and immediately everyone was completely on board and comfortable with a flashing red light ball-strike indicator? Greg Allen showed up completely nervous for his first game at Yankee Stadium, and before the coaching staff could even get to him, he cut them off with, “Red light means curveball, no, I know, everyone knows”?
Of course, this was the seventh inning of the final game of a three-game set, but the excuses started rolling in midway through Game 2, as soon as the tide started turning for the Sox.
First, it was the umpires (of course), who called a questionable check swing on Vazquez with the bases loaded. Then ire turned to Aaron Boone, who made the final decision on delaying Saturday’s game even though no rain fell from 7 PM-8 PM, only for a monsoon to begin in the sixth inning and ultimately prevent the game from being finished. Some (not all) Sox fans really seem to believe Boone went rogue there and delayed the game all by himself, even though Nathan Eovaldi was one out away from screwing the Yankees there with a water-logged 1-0 loss. Guess Boone’s master plan didn’t account for that?
Yeah, well, both of these teams played during the heavy rainfall in the sixth inning. The Red Sox struck out with the bases loaded and the Yankees hit two home runs. Same conditions for all. We didn’t like the game being played, either, but it happened. And the Yankees found a way to win.
And now we’ve got the flashing red light, which wasn’t flashing and wasn’t red (but which a popular Red Sox Twitter account immediately called a camera, because that’s what we do these days).
As Sox beat writer Alex Speier noted midway through Sunday’s meltdown, the team is now 2-6 in their past eight games, frustrated at themselves, and projecting that frustration everywhere. We didn’t really lose to the Yankees — it was a camera! Aaron Boone controls the weather — and Nathan Eovaldi’s pitches! A man throwing a baseball back to the field and hitting Alex Verdugo is the worst thing to happen in modern sports — and please ignore the Boston fan who did the same thing to Giancarlo Stanton in 2018!
If this were the Yankees, we’d say they were spiraling. The Sox had better hope it’s just a flash.