BLUE JAYS NOW ACCUSED OF STEALING OPPONENT'S STREET SIGNS
August 12 2011
Toronto, Canada – Cheating is nothing new in baseball. In fact, one could argue that cheating is as much a part of the game as hotdogs in the stands and disputed foul balls. Even the most avid of baseball fans can’t deny that cheating, in one form or another, is much a part of baseball as baseball is a part of America.
Corked bats, ball doctoring, pine tar, and steroids are tied as intrinsically to the game. Baseball, it could be argued, is as much about the cheating as it is about the homeruns and strikeouts. Still, fans and league officials tend to get a little uppity when that cheating is exposed publicly.
Such is the case with the Toronto Blue Jays and accusations from opposing players that the team has been stealing pitching signs. While that particular cheat is literally as old as baseball itself, getting caught is still very much looked down upon. Now, as the Jays deny the accusations, a new set of accusations linking the team to stolen street signs from across the American league may put team management in even deeper trouble.
“It’s bad playing them at home. We know they are stealing the signs and there is nothing we can do about it but this new thing, this is just low,” said an insider with the Chicago White Sox, the team which brought the initial charges against the team. “Cheating at the game is one thing but taking things from the city is just sleazy. We
play for the city, we are a part of the city, and stealing signs is stealing from something we really care about. I hope the league does something about it.”
The Jays are accused of using a man in the stands as a signal for certain pitches, allowing the batters to be ready. While the team does indeed have the highest slugging percentage in the league, the supposed cheating as not helped their win-loss record.
“I guess they have gotten used to stealing signs and now they feel they can get away with anything. It’s just not right. Baseball needs to step in a do something. They can’t be allowed to get away with this,” continued the insider. “Return the signs. Those things cost money and they belong to the city. MLB has to step in or this thing is going to get worse and worse.”
The Jays have denied stealing any street signs, though mass disappearances of many types of street signage has been reported in multiple cities after the Jays played the home team. Chicago, New York, and Baltimore have all reported disappearances. Detroit has also made similar accusations though admit it’s very tough to tell when the signs were stolen there.
“The pitching scandal will probably go nowhere. We are talking about a handful of
games last year and once the sensation dies down it will go away. No one in baseball wants this to become a big deal because most teams do it in one form or another. They will try to quell this as soon as possible,” said Scrape TV Sports analyst Mark Marvins. “However, if they are going beyond stealing things on the diamond then the MLB may be forced to do something. I would imagine that is something will be done quietly, so as to avoid embarrassment, but there is no doubt that something will have to change if the team, or at least certain members of the team, are stealing from the cities in which they are playing. That costs people money, unlike stealing the pitching sign which doesn’t seem to cost anyone anything, wins included. Hopefully this is just a nasty rumour.”
Jays star Jose Bautista apparently has a number of ‘Stop’ and ‘Yield’ signs in his Toronto condominium but has long claimed that they were legally purchased.
Alexi Orton, Sports Correspondent