Baltimore Orioles: How to deal with electronic sign-stealing

The series finale for the Baltimore Orioles with New York last night was post phoned until this afternoon due to rain. Unlike some teams who try to make everyone wait around for two or three hours, the Orioles made the decision before the scheduled start time. And that benefits everyone.

The story du jour in MLB of course is the Boston Red Sox being caught stealing signs with an apple watch (against the New York Yankees). I’ve heard a wide array of comments on this, however that aside my personal opinion is that stealing signs is dirty. When a guy’s standing on second base and is relaying signs to a hitter…that’s just not cool. But people love to hide behind the fact that everyone’s doing it.

HOWEVER, Major League Baseball does have a written rule saying that the usage of electronic devices to steal signs is not allowed. So this isn’t about upholding the unwritten codes of the game, yes in which I do personally believe. There’s actually a written rule against what Boston was doing. It’s akin to trying to argue that you were keeping up with the flow of traffic when you got pulled over for going 30 MPH over the speed limit.

So what next? Well before I go there, let me just say how despicable I think this is. Again, I’m not in favor of sign stealing the old fashion way. It goes against the integrity of the game, and the fact that everyone does it is no defense. In this case, I get pulling out all the stops to win. But resorting to tactics like this are despicable and shameless.

Commissioner Rob Manfred really needs to think long and hard about what he’s going to do. If you believe CSNNE, the penalty isn’t going to be very harsh. But again, they violated a written rule. And the argument that Boston didn’t do well against NY this year is a weak one. The results of the games shouldn’t matter. Heck, it sounds like they knew something was up, and they probably changed their signs.

The article I linked above talks about vacating wins, which is an interesting idea. Depending upon which wins and how many they had to vacate, the Orioles could stand to benefit. However I’ll be honest – that’s a bad idea. As petty as both Boston and New York can be, that’s a penalty that first off is probably a bit draconian. However they would also probably sue the league and it would end up in court. Let’s say that they vacated wins and the Orioles somehow magically won the division. That can’t be undone.

But Manfred does need to make an example out of the Red Sox. This type of thing can’t be allowed to stand. Perhaps manager John Farrell should receive a 30-game suspension or something to that affect. The Red Sox were quick to point out that he supposedly knew nothing of what was going on. First off I’m not sure I believe that. Secondly, it’s your job to know what’s going on in your dugout. So if he really didn’t know, he flat out wasn’t doing his job.

If Manfred lets them get off with a slap on the wrist, it’ll look bad for the game. Boston’s a team with a huge following and one who will probably generate a lot of TV ratings in the post season. Does Manfred really want to give the semblance that he’s putting that before the integrity of the game? One way or another, this is something that he needs to rectify; if you aren’t going to enforce the rules on the books, they may as well be struck.

The Orioles will wrap up their series with NY with a makeup game this afternoon. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Sonny Gray. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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