Stealing Signs

Nothing like a manufactured pseudo-controversy to keep things fresh.

You may have noticed the story Wednesday about St Louis allegedly stealing signs during the NLCS.  From the ESPN article:

“We felt like we had to be sure we kept an eye on their first-base coach and their third-base coach,” Mattingly said. “They’re the ones with the easiest way to steal signs.”

Stealing signs is one of those things.  It’s attempted with varying degrees of success all the time.  Any advantage you can get, right?  Apparently the Cardinals have a reputation for trying, and succeeding, to steal signs from other teams.  Cool.

Then there’s this comment.

The Dodgers did not change their signs heading into the postseason, Mattingly said, because they felt it was likely to cause confusion among their own players, who were conditioned to the same signs all year.

Let’s recap.

  • St Louis has a reputation for stealing signs.
  • You think the Cardinals were stealing signs during the NLCS.
  • You don’t change your signs.

I can kind of understand not changing them heading into the Atlanta series, unless the Braves also have a reputation for stealing signs.  But heading into the NLCS, that seems foolhardy.  And the comment about causing confusion among their players?  I mean, your typical MLB roster isn’t chock-full of Mensa members, but really?  Guess Mattingly was worried his players would turn into Danny Kaye on the basepaths:

Or maybe into this:



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