BOSTON TEAM FOUND ‘CHEATING’
Woah now! Not THAT Boston team…at least, not again…for now. No, the Boston Red Sox have a taken a cue from their brethren at Foxborough and gotten themselves in a bit of pickle with the league, and crusty ass hats that want to keep the league “pure.”
The Yankees AKA America’s Debutante have cited a multitude of tattling examples levied against the Beantown heroes, most entertaining of all claiming a mouth guard to be an ear piece. Oh boys, come now. But most recently, the Bronx Bombers bitched that their opponents were using the AppleWatch to participate in some fuckery. The team submitted video evidence of this operation to the league.
This video evidence was obtained how? BY THE YANKEES SETTING UP THEIR OWN CAMERA POINTED IN THE RED SOX DUGOUT! “I only did something shitty to show how shitty you were,” a line I may or may not have used in a relationship I may or may not have been in once. The video showed a Red Sox trainer looking down at their AppleWatch, then relaying some kind of message to the team. While AppleWatches were allowed in the dugout starting in 2015, they are explicitly not allowed to be used to communicate.
The league asked the Red Sox, “What the hell?” and the team responded that they got “signals” from replay personnel and relayed info to the rest of the team. Not an admittance of stealing signs but still admitting that they were using the device to communicate. Additionally, footage showed a member of the coaching team reach in his back pocket and look at a cellphone, which are completely prohibited from the dugout.
The Red Sox cooperated fully with investigation and even filed a counter complaint that the Yankees were using YES television feed of a dugout camera to steal signals. Ah yes, the ‘I know you are but what am I?’ tactic…possibly another trick I may or may not have used in that aforementioned maybe relationship (I’m sophomoric, gimme a break).
Philosophically, this isn’t about that, just a catalyst for a rant.
In the wake of this newest “scandal,” people come out of the woodwork to talk about the ethical use of sign stealing. They use phrases like, “it’s been around since the beginning and you just gotta deal with it,” and “it’s an accepted kind of cheating.”
Cheat: to violate rules dishonestly.
Violate a rule. Major League Baseball’s rule on sign stealing:
Oh…none? No rule? Oh ok. And while there ARE provisions on using technology to steal signs, the act itself is not against the rules. Therefore, all of the hubbub about it being an “acceptable cheat” since the beginning of the game means that it inherently isn’t true, but it sounds like it doesn’t it?
Stealing signs, no!
Stealing bases, ok though.
A while ago there was a football coach named Paul Brown, you may have heard of him. Many decades ago, he got this crazy idea to put a radio receiver in a helmet so he could relay information to the quarterback on the field. He was the only guy to do it, and everyone bitched until the league made it illegal. Now, everyone does it. Do you think that communication ends after the play call? Or are those coordinators in the booth not also trying to give their guy a head’s up on coverage or signs of blitzes? Of course they are! That’s part of the competitive advantage is using information by current means!
But this is baseball, and a guy standing on second base and peeping at the catcher’s signals is just a time honored “cheat.” This was acceptable, but if you got a little more devious, then that violated….”the Code.”
Yes, “the Code.” The unspoken rule of the game like no bat flipping, take out one of theirs if they take out one of yours, and throw some chin music if they crowd the plate too much. Ya know, allowable violence and mischief…like the good ol’ days!
There is a lot of romance regarding baseball, especially in the black and white picture era of the game. The time where legends were made like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and a team found to have thrown a World Series for money, the Classical Era.
A lot of things had to change, and for good reason! Outside of desegregating the game, the rules were bananas! Did you know that a batter used to be able to REQUEST a high or low pitch? Dafuq? For a brief period in the 1800’s the National League could use a bat with a flat front on one side, and when the league outlawed the “spit ball,” they grandfathered in pitchers that had already been using it. Those things needed change, but apparently, a lot of things had to stay the same…for some reason.
Don’t bunt on a no no!
If you’re playing a game in which you get paid to help a team win, you do what you can to win. HOWEVER, there’s some unwritten rule that if you’re batting and the pitcher…who I remind you, is on the OTHER team, is currently pitching a no hitter, then you shouldn’t bunt. You shouldn’t try to get on base IN A TOTALLY LEGAL FASHION. Why? “Cuz it’s a dick move.” Batters of opposing teams have to acknowledge and respect the hurting their opponent’s pitcher is doing to them and not threaten their place in history as being the eighth pitcher that month to throw a no-hitter.
Don’t run up the score!
It’s considered “uncool” for PROFESSIONAL players to serve an absolute beatdown on other PROFESSIONAL players. Just another antiquated courtesy that football has gotten over. These guys are paid to perform and some Victorian age conduct lingers in the air as to not bruise the egos of athletes getting paid to look stupid and make 20 million dollars a year.
But all of these are just etiquette based…it’s about not damaging a psyche. But if you wanna get violent, OH BOY there are tons of unwritten rules that allow for, nay, demand you just fuckin’ hit someone.
Then I come to sign stealing. While I mentioned already that it considered in poor taste, but just something that’s dealt with, there’s also a good reason why the league never banned it. With the rules mentioned earlier: asking for a kind of pitch, flat front club, and banning covering the ball in all kinds of crap, those are rules put into place to do one thing…
GET. MORE. HITS.
Even from a hundred plus years ago, this game is about trying to generate excitement by seeing bat hit ball, and sign stealing kind of allows for that opportunity.
Now don’t get me wrong, bro! I don’t want technology to get so infused that a batter is taking a time out to check his Instagram, but it brings about a little more excitement, in my opinion, to know there’s a chess match going on on the field, and off it.