Baseball Signal Stealing

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January 17th, 2020 at 5:22:22 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 124
Posts: 11362
MLB has recently come down hard on "signal stealing." As most people know, the catcher signals the pitcher what pitch he should throw, the pitcher can nod him off to another until they agree. The coaches might signal the catcher what they want as well. Much of this leads to a coach standing there looking like he is doing some new dance from Brazil to get the signals into the players. For those that do not know, most of those coach signals are fake and mean nothing, just there to confuse.

Houston it seems somehow made a science of "stealing" the signals and alerting their own players, which would have to be done ironically by signals.

Stealing is as old as the first signals. If a team has a player on second he might see the catcher signal and give a signal of his own to the batter. So when someone is on second the catcher has to switch up his own signals. To me that is all a neat game of cat and mouse.

Other people say it is wrong to do this. My position is that as long as one team does not have an advantage in being able to do it so what? For example, a home team should not be able to sit in a luxury box with a camera and computer but lock the opposing team out of a similar view. Similar to how in the NFL if the home team puts an item on their sideline they must give the same to the opposing team, or in the case of off-field medical facilities give equal use.

Teams have analytic departments. I once met some people worked in one. I would put "signal stealing" as just part of analytics.

Would you?
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January 17th, 2020 at 6:35:46 AM permalink
SOOPOO
Member since: Feb 19, 2014
Threads: 9
Posts: 1278
Quote: AZDuffman
MLB has recently come down hard on "signal stealing." As most people know, the catcher signals the pitcher what pitch he should throw, the pitcher can nod him off to another until they agree. The coaches might signal the catcher what they want as well. Much of this leads to a coach standing there looking like he is doing some new dance from Brazil to get the signals into the players. For those that do not know, most of those coach signals are fake and mean nothing, just there to confuse.

Houston it seems somehow made a science of "stealing" the signals and alerting their own players, which would have to be done ironically by signals.

Stealing is as old as the first signals. If a team has a player on second he might see the catcher signal and give a signal of his own to the batter. So when someone is on second the catcher has to switch up his own signals. To me that is all a neat game of cat and mouse.

Other people say it is wrong to do this. My position is that as long as one team does not have an advantage in being able to do it so what? For example, a home team should not be able to sit in a luxury box with a camera and computer but lock the opposing team out of a similar view. Similar to how in the NFL if the home team puts an item on their sideline they must give the same to the opposing team, or in the case of off-field medical facilities give equal use.

Teams have analytic departments. I once met some people worked in one. I would put "signal stealing" as just part of analytics.

Would you?

Not the way the Astros were doing it. They were using binoculars or cameras or some such which were expressly and specifically forbidden. It is the MAIN reason they won the World Series. No ifs, ands, or buts! If you take an average hitter, and he is sure a curve ball is coming, he is no longer an average hitter. He's a star. Of course I don't know if the .270 hitter becomes .290, or .310, but raising all the hitters is enough to tip a close loss to a close win.

For those not familiar with the cat and mouse game that is between the pitcher and batter, think football. If the Bills are 100% sure a blitz is coming, they switch to a play best likely to beat it. If the defense knows the Bills are running, the run is almost always stopped.

I am glad MLB is not treating this as a minor infraction. The team from Houston will now forever be known as the Houston Asterisks!