Photo credit: foxnews.com
By Amaury Pi-González
Major League Baseball is investigating the Houston Astros for stealing signs during the 2018 and 2019 seasons and dating back to 2017 when the Astros won the World Series. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said last month MLB will be interviewing a lot of people,during the investigation.
Manfred said: “We are talking to people all over the industry,former employees,competitors, whatever.”
This looks like an old episode of the famous TV detective Columbo.
Before they bring baseball attorneys and experts on the matter and it becomes a huge scandal, we should all be aware that stealing signs in baseball has been part of baseball since most people can remember — before most of us where born. In a way, this investigation is laughable because this is absolutely nothing new. In the history of baseball, it is part of the fabric of the game. However, the game has changed so much that I have to admit they are much fewer stolen bases by players today, that stolen signs.
Actually, it brings me to the point of being in favor of stealing signs because that means that you are much more baseball-savvy that your opponent. Especially nowadays with all the replays and technology available and when the camera sees much more than the umpires. With all the technology today that we apply to the game it should be truly refreshing that players and coaches can steal a sign or two to help their team. How much impact can stealing signs have on a game, that is another matter, and for that, brings the baseball attorneys.
Here is a personal anecdote. In the mid 1980’s, I was broadcasting an A’s game from a tent-installed directly behind the backstop and home plate at field level at the Oakland Coliseum. The station was KNTA 1430 AM San José. We were going to be removed from that location because opposing teams believe that was a good location for the home team to steal signs. Some of the players that used to stand next to us,during the games like A’s pitcher José Rijo posed a potential for the “crime”.
There is no rule in baseball today that prohibit sign stealing.
Yes, there is “No Crying in Baseball”, but there is sign stealing.