Throughout the 2018 Major League Baseball postseason, there have been multiple accusations of teams or players stealing signs, with some of them involving the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Houston Astros were recently investigated for potential foul play, and it was with that it came to light of possible sign-stealing in Game 163 between the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies. No penalties were given to any of the teams involved.
Then, during the National League Championship Series, the Milwaukee Brewers accused the Dodgers of stealing signs although they never provided any distinct evidence to support their accusations.
With the Dodgers now playing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, they are once again being called out for the longstanding act. Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie explained he caught Manny Machado relaying signs to hitters when he was at second base in the fourth inning of Game 2 to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report:
“Was it a little exaggerated? Yeah, maybe, but I saw the whole thing,” LeVangie said of Machado’s gyrations. “I had told [Boston manager] Alex [Cora] I wanted to go [to the mound] before the Puig at-bat because I wanted to talk about some things.
“But when a guy gets a big punchout in that situation and a coach comes out to take a visit…I didn’t want to f–k with the momentum there because David got a huge strikeout.”
LeVangie went on to clarify though saying that he does not believe what Machado was doing was dirty and it is up to his team to prevent that from happening:
“Oh, it’s clean,” the pitching coach said. “It’s baseball. If you’re not hiding your stuff with a runner on second base and you’re giving them a free view, that’s on you, the pitcher and the catcher. It’s up to the pitcher and catcher to manage that and to us to oversee it and make sure we’re going about it the right way.
“We see this all the time. Not just him, with everyone. We are very respectful of all this, and it’s a big part of who we are and what we try to manage. As far as our pitching staff, we want to make sure we control those guys at second base and [that] they’re not stealing our signs. We’re changing our signs constantly, every pitch. Typically, every one of our pitchers will change every pitch.”
All of the other sign-stealing issues this postseason had to do with the use of technology, which is certainly illegal. As LeVangie mentioned though, there is nothing illegal about a baserunner stealing signs from second base. It is up to the defending team to prevent that from happening by frequently changing up their signs.
With the series shifting back to Los Angeles for Game 3, the Red Sox will surely be more careful to prevent this issue. It hasn’t seemed to really affect them to this point though as they have a 2-0 series lead.
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