Already we have heard from Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Ross Striping on The Big Swing Podcast about why technology and sign-stealing mixed together is wrong. Moreover, Stripling put it as eloquently as I have heard that day. He says that to steal signs in the manner the Houston Astros did is the equivalent of a defense having Tom Brady’s headset before the quarterback calls a play.
That really summed it up for me.
Now, Stripling is on MLB Network Radio as part of Players’ Week. Once again, he talks about this aspect of the game that has become a topic of discussion for everyone in the fraternity of MLB.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 17, 2020
First, Stripling walks us through the difference of playing the game of baseball and picking up signs organically; and stealing them illegally.
Notably, I think back to a story I wrote in May of last year. At that time, Stripling was tipping his pitches. However he says in the sound byte above that if hitters are picking up on a pitch due to something the pitcher is doing, that’s fine and dandy.
Then, Stripling says this about the use of technology coming into play.
“Where it crosses the line is using technology to relay signs in real-time where a hitter knows what is coming. There should be no possibility of it. If a guy is on second base and he’s relaying signs fair and square, that’s fine. But if he’s using technology, in most players’ eyes that is crossing the line.”
Once again, he makes a great point. Picking up signs during the course of a game or a series has been part of the game of baseball for decades if not longer. It becomes a full-blown major issue when it’s taken to the next level like the Houston Astros did.