The Baltimore Orioles should probably consider themselves lucky that they aren’t mired in some of the recent sign stealing controversies of late. And once again this issue is coming up and involving the Houston Astros, who according to George King‘s article in the NY Post, are once again resorting to various tactics in terms of stealing signs. And apparently using a whistle to do so.
According to the article, the New York Yankees are frosted at what they interpreted as sign stealing in the form of a whistle. According to some players, sometimes they also do things such as bang pipes. Apparently much of this starts in the bullpen. The article also points out that Houston had a league-best 60-21 record at home this year.
As I’ve said in the past, we’re kidding ourselves if we think this type of thing isn’t going on in almost every big league game. Playoffs, regular season – heck, probably even in spring training. This is now the second team in a short period of time that’s accused Houston of stealing signs. Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire.
I’ve also said in the past that foreign devices cannot be used to steal signs in games (that’s actually in the rule book). And quite frankly, that leads to the part of this which quite frankly ticks me off the most. By using a whistle, banging on pipes, etc, they’re actually outsmarting the system in a sense. They aren’t using an electronic means to steal signs – as the ChiSox did years ago with lights on the scoreboard. In accordance with the rules, what they’re doing is legal.
But as readers know, I’m old school. I believe in the unwritten codes of the game. Now to their credit, New York is handling the situation in the proper manner by changing up their signs. According to the aforementioned article they even relay signs with nobody on base so as to make it tougher for Houston to steal the signs. But I’m not going to lie…if I were in charge someone would be wearing a pitch at some point.