The New York Mets became the latest team to accuse the Los Angeles Dodgers of stealing signs after their best starting pitchers, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, got hit around a little bit during a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox made similar accusations in the past, but manager Dave Roberts emphatically stated he doesn’t ‘care’ what the Mets and other teams ‘think’ because the Dodgers are not breaking any rules.
The Dodgers took three out of the four games, but in the series finale, Mets starter Jason Vargas turned in a very solid outing. Los Angeles scored a run off him after just two batters when Chris Taylor tripled and Max Muncy doubled to begin the bottom of the first, but he settled down after that and allowed just the one run over seven innings.
After the loss, Vargas said he made changes to combat the Dodgers potential sign-stealing, and added that he doesn’t have a problem with what they do, via Tim Healey of Newsday:
Vargas said he fixed “a couple issues” when the Dodgers had a runner on second. The Mets alluded to the possibility that the Dodgers were stealing signs this week but stopped short of accusing them outright. Vargas put it more strongly than anyone else.
“They had a good look into my glove and had a good idea of how to relay that to the hitter,” Vargas said. “I would probably do the same thing if I were out there. It’s just something that had to be remedied.”
Vargas declined to say how he remedied it. “They’re very prepared and very aware,” he said. “I think everybody is well aware of that. When something’s out of sorts or when things are looking how they shouldn’t, you go take a look at it.”
Unless technology is being used, stealing signs is not illegal in Major League Baseball, so it is up to the opposing team to continuously change them up to keep it from happening. Thus, it is a bit of a cop-out to see teams blaming losses on signs potentially being stolen.
Regardless, because of teams like the Mets bringing light to this, others will likely be extra cautious when they play the Dodgers from here on out.