Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Joe Mauer stealing signs - cheating or another example of what an awesome, all-around ball player he is?
Ok, obviously the headline of this post tips you as to which one I think it is, but stealing signs in baseball is not illegal. Pitchers will inadvertantly tip their pitches to both hitters and runners all the time. One team will try to read another team's signs to tell if a steal is on or a hit and run, leading to pitchouts. It's part of the game, trying to outmaneuver the other team. It's not like the Twins had a guy on the sidelines or in the stands figuring out Laird's signs and relaying them to the Twins. It was a player in the game who was savvy enough to figure out what was going on and use it to his advantage. And in my humble opinion, one, if you're a good enough baseball player that you can figure out the other team's signs, tip them to the batter, and still pay enough attention to your own game so that you don't get picked off and you're ready to run as soon as that ball is in play, that doesn't make you a cheater, that makes you a better ball player. And two, in the case of Verlander and Laird, if you have Joe Mauer on second, one of the best catchers in the game today in full sight of the pitches you're calling and you don't think he's going to figure it out and/or you don't do anything to try to keep it from him, then you deserve to have your signs stolen.