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Thread: Indication of stealing signs?

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    Indication of stealing signs?

    Don Mattingly accused the Cardinals of stealing signs. He said that they have a system that uses the 3rd base coach. He pointed out that with RISP the Cardinals batting average was .330 while hitting only .236 with no runners on base. The Twins hit .247 with no runners on base.

    Seems like it would have to be an elaborate system over a whole season in order to get away with this. If the Cards hit the NL average with RISP they would score 100 less runs.

    Notice any sign stealing going around the league?

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-bi...8704--mlb.html
    The Dodgers did not change their signs heading into the postseason, Mattingly said
    That's their problem.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    I would think changing signs would be common sense. Stealing signs happens. It's not illegal. You want to screw with them, change signs between innings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I would think changing signs would be common sense. Stealing signs happens. It's not illegal. You want to screw with them, change signs between innings.
    Isn't the difference of the batting averages with runs in scoring position and no one on base a large number? Could it be that opposition pitchers pitch from the stretch with runners on base and therefore are pitching differently?

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetank View Post
    Don Mattingly accused the Cardinals of stealing signs. He said that they have a system that uses the 3rd base coach. He pointed out that with RISP the Cardinals batting average was .330 while hitting only .236 with no runners on base. The Twins hit .247 with no runners on base.

    Seems like it would have to be an elaborate system over a whole season in order to get away with this. If the Cards hit the NL average with RISP they would score 100 less runs.

    Notice any sign stealing going around the league?
    "Unwritten" rules are all pretty much BS, and this one is no exception. If I were in MLB I would lead the league in getting beaned because I'd lay down bunts during no hitters and blatantly steal signs every time I was on base. If I were a GM I'd employ a guy to breakdown film to crack other team's signs. The whole concept of unwritten rules is ridiculous. If you can't spell it out in the actual rules, then let the players do it or change the game.

    I didn't watch this series, but I think it's safe to say every team pretty much does a little sign stealing once in a while, right?

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Did Mattingly say this right now, right in the middle of the off-season? If he had issues he had many chances to say so after particular games against the Cardinals.

    Any idea if any Cardinals were hit by Dodgers' pitchers last season?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A. Preusser View Post
    "Unwritten" rules are all pretty much BS, and this one is no exception. If I were in MLB I would lead the league in getting beaned because I'd lay down bunts during no hitters and blatantly steal signs every time I was on base. If I were a GM I'd employ a guy to breakdown film to crack other team's signs. The whole concept of unwritten rules is ridiculous. If you can't spell it out in the actual rules, then let the players do it or change the game.
    Actually, stealing signs is perfectly acceptable within the unwritten rules. Jason Turbow wrote a fantastic book on the unwritten rules - one of my favorite baseball books - and has a great website for it at :http://thebaseballcodes.com/

    Here's an article he wrote about the Twins stealing signs from the Tigers:
    http://thebaseballcodes.com/2009/12/...g-not-so-much/
    Unfortunately, the video link is gone b/c MLB wanted to protect its rights and kill anything fun on the internet. The NY times even covered it (http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/1...-pitches/?_r=0)

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Actually, stealing signs is perfectly acceptable within the unwritten rules. Jason Turbow wrote a fantastic book on the unwritten rules - one of my favorite baseball books - and has a great website for it at :http://thebaseballcodes.com/

    Here's an article he wrote about the Twins stealing signs from the Tigers:
    http://thebaseballcodes.com/2009/12/...g-not-so-much/
    Unfortunately, the video link is gone b/c MLB wanted to protect its rights and kill anything fun on the internet. The NY times even covered it (http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/1...-pitches/?_r=0)
    My understanding is that stealing signs and relaying them to the hitters (which is what this thread is about) is frowned upon by the "unwritten rules".

    Frankly, I hope someday there is a manager or a star player that just says "screw it" to all that nonsense and flaunts the hell out of that mentality. There is nothing about the game of baseball I hate more than the unwritten rules nonsense.

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    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Actually, stealing signs is perfectly acceptable within the unwritten rules.
    It's surely accepted that baserunners, especially one on second, will try to read the catcher's sign and give the batter a clue of what's coming. It's why the catcher switches from a simple index finger signal for the fastball when no one's on, to the fancy five-second wiggle waggle.

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Here's an article he wrote about the Twins stealing signs from the Tigers:
    http://thebaseballcodes.com/2009/12/...g-not-so-much/
    Unfortunately, the video link is gone b/c MLB wanted to protect its rights and kill anything fun on the internet. The NY times even covered it (http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/1...-pitches/?_r=0)
    Well here's the at-bat http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=6944905&c_id=mlb

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    I think my man-crush on Mauer has just gotten a little bigger

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    My understanding is that stealing signs and relaying them to the hitters (which is what this thread is about) is frowned upon by the "unwritten rules".

    Frankly, I hope someday there is a manager or a star player that just says "screw it" to all that nonsense and flaunts the hell out of that mentality. There is nothing about the game of baseball I hate more than the unwritten rules nonsense.
    Nope, totally ok under the unwritten rules. Seriously, peruse that website, lots of great stuff there. I absolutely love the unwritten rules and Turbow did a good job of showing how the rules change over time.

  14. #13
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Nope, totally ok under the unwritten rules. Seriously, peruse that website, lots of great stuff there. I absolutely love the unwritten rules and Turbow did a good job of showing how the rules change over time.
    I did, did you read the interview with the St. Louis coach? He specifically made a point to mention (several times) that he doesn't relay the signs he steals to the hitters. Blyleven has talked about this on the air as well.

    A few samples:

    I steal signs every day as a coach. But one thing I don’t do, I don’t tell the hitters.

    That’s part of the game. But I would never tell a hitter what’s coming. It’s respect.

    To tell a hitter what’s coming, that’s never been my style. …”

    And here's Blyleven: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/0...stealing-signs. It's ok if you catch the guy tipping his pitches, but you're not supposed to relay signs to a hitter about what pitch they're getting and hitters aren't supposed to peek from the box.

    To me, it boils down to how overly sensitive a player is to a stupid code. It's yet another muddy set of "rules".


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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    And here's Blyleven: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/0...stealing-signs. It's ok if you catch the guy tipping his pitches, but you're not supposed to relay signs to a hitter about what pitch they're getting and hitters aren't supposed to peek from the box.
    Bert's saying its not okay to steal signs and relay them to countrymen on the opposing team, which is what Tejada (and ARod) were accused of doing while on defense. Big difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Bert's saying its not okay to steal signs and relay them to countrymen on the opposing team, which is what Tejada (and ARod) were accused of doing while on defense. Big difference.
    They caught a minor league catcher some years ago doing that for his countryman.

  17. #16
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Bert's saying its not okay to steal signs and relay them to countrymen on the opposing team, which is what Tejada (and ARod) were accused of doing while on defense. Big difference.
    Truebut I know during broadcasts that he has mentioned throwing at runners at second base if he thinks they are relaying. If it wasn't taboo to relay to a hitter the STL coach wouldn't have qualified his answer three times.

    heres more:

    http://thebaseballcodes.com/category/sign-stealing/
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 12-21-2013 at 09:31 AM.

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    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    This is a bunch of bull in my opinion.

    If the 3rd base coach is looking in and stealing the signs from the catcher. Give that 3rd Base coach a raise.

    If the 3rd base coach is busted... As a manager... Walk out to the mound... Tell the Catcher that the 3rd base coach is getting your signs... so... close your damn knees closer together and put your fingers against your nut cup so he can't see them. If he has x-ray vision and can still see the signs.

    Change 2 for fastball and then change 2 to slider for the next hitter. Reverse the location so tapping outside means inside and change back.

    That advantage will turn to a disadvantage very quickly.

    Then go back to the dugout and tell your 3rd base coach. That the flipping Cardinals 3rd Base coach is stealing signs and ask him why he can't do the same.

    It's really simple.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

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  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Truebut I know during broadcasts that he has mentioned throwing at runners at second base if he thinks they are relaying. If it wasn't taboo to relay to a hitter the STL coach wouldn't have qualified his answer three times.

    heres more:

    http://thebaseballcodes.com/category/sign-stealing/
    It's ok to try and steal signs but it's also ok for the other team to make you pay for it. In his book, he quoted Jack Morris throwing a fastball up and in when the sign indicated changeup low and then turning to yell at the runner that (paraphrasing) if didn't stop relaying signs, one of his players would get killed.

  21. #19
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    It's ok to try and steal signs but it's also ok for the other team to make you pay for it. In his book, he quoted Jack Morris throwing a fastball up and in when the sign indicated changeup low and then turning to yell at the runner that (paraphrasing) if didn't stop relaying signs, one of his players would get killed.
    Right....which is how they punish most violations of unwritten rules, no? relaying it to hitters is most certainly taboo.

    Your argument as phrased here would work to dismiss any unwritten rule. For example - it's ok to bunt during a no-hitter and it's ok for the other team to make you pay for it.

    It's the rules of retribution that decide what is a violation. If you get thrown at for relaying signs to a hitter - then it's an unwritten rule violation.
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 12-21-2013 at 05:44 PM.

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