We have received soundbites from numerous sources in and around baseball in regards to the recent news and punishment of the Houston Astros for electronically stealing signs, namely in the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers. One former Dodger and Major League Baseball legend is fed up and that someone is catcher Mike Piazza.
"There's obviously no place for that"
Mike Piazza sounds off on electronic sign-stealing in baseball and says it "would have never happened" in his era pic.twitter.com/32PBQnu4fa
— SNY (@SNYtv) January 16, 2020
In a recent column for the New York Post, Kevin Kernan discusses the scandal with the Hall of Fame catcher. The two words that best characterize Piazza’s thoughts on the situation are ‘sadness’ and ‘disgust’. He expresses his distaste at a recent ceremony for the New York Mets and playfully said his team would not be using electronic advantages in the World Baseball Classic. Piazza is the manager of Team Italy:
“I’m excited about it and I know there have been a lot of changes in the game. We won’t be using any cameras, but we will have a lot of pasta and coffee in the dugout. No cameras.’’
As many have said,
“I think it is very sad, a very sad episode for the game.”
Piazza acknowledges that there is a correct way to steal signs and that that is a skill that not everyone possesses. He stated that old Dodgers coach Joe Amalfitano was the best at it that he had ever seen:
“He was right 95 percent on pitch outs when I was catching. It would be uncanny. He had their signs when they were going to steal or hit or run and he would call a pitchout and he would just watch them and pick off the sign.”
As Piazza alludes to, many Astros players have targets on their heads:
“Could you imagine if Nolan Ryan knew that you were relaying his signs? You’d probably be missing a head. Unfortunately, it’s an unintended consequence of the digital age and all this information. I hope and pray that it is behind the game. Obviously there are punishments being dished out. There is no excuse for that.”
It’s just an all-around bad situation for everyone involved, most notably the entity of Major League Baseball as a brand.