2016 NLCS: Cubs’ Ben Zobrist Amused By Yasmani Grandal’s Accusation Of Stealing Signs
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

After Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal accused the Chicago Cubs and utility man Ben Zobrist of stealing signs the night prior.

Grandal believed that because in the eighth inning of Game 1 with Zobrist on second base after hitting a leadoff double, shortstop Addison Russell was laying off sliders thrown by Joe Blanton that Grandal believed he otherwise would have swung at.

Before the Dodgers workout in Los Angeles on Monday, manager Dave Roberts explained why he didn’t take issue with the possibility of Grandal’s claims holding true.

“I think when you watch baseball games and every team’s going to try to get any advantage they can, so that’s kind of the gamesmanship part of the game,” Roberts said.

“That’s why catchers or guys on second base give multiple signs and change sequences. So if they are, it wouldn’t be a surprise, and there’s many clubs that we’ve played against that do the same thing. That’s part of the game.”

When informed of Grandal’s accusation, Zobrist laughed it off, via Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times:

“I think it’s hilarious,” Zobrist said Monday. “I was not stealing signs. But I appreciate him thinking my baseball IQ is that high.”

“I guess he used the right word when he said almost all catchers are a little bit paranoid about that.”

The Cubs had just one runner reach second base in Game 2, as Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen combined to throw a two-hit shutout.

Going into Game 3 of the NLCS the Cubs need all the help they can get offensively, with Anthony Rizzo just 1-for-23 in the postseason, Russell 1-for-22, Jason Heyward 2-for-18 and Zobrist 4-for-22.

The Cubs again struggled to get runners on base, much less in scoring position, during Game 3. Anthony Rizzo did advance that far, and playfully mimicked the relaying of signs when Grandal went out to the mound to speak with Rich Hill.