This boils down to respect. Do you have respect for the other team or not. The end result is simple if you are obvious about stealing a sign I promise that you will more than likely get plunked. There are very discreet ways to steal signs but when you begin to show players up you are asking for trouble. Respect goes a long way in the game.
I am not implying anything at all. All I am saying is that some people are going to steal signs no matter what is said. If you are going to steal signs you better make sure that you do not get caught because obviously there are many people out there who are totally against it including myself. By saying that people should be discreet I am saying don't get caught or there might be a price to pay. By no means am I saying that stealing signs is ok, but rather I am saying if you are going to do it players better not know about it. Are you implying that you steal signs??
Last Edit: Jun 19, 2006 8:42:18 GMT -5 by catcher17
Post by horseshoeman2006 on Jun 19, 2006 10:54:55 GMT -5
Stealing signs: fair or foul? Baseball's on-field intelligence gathering has been going on since the early years of the major leagues - decrypting signals given by coaches and managers Baseball Digest, August, 2002 by Greg Couch
IN BASEBALL, THERE IS THE OFFICIAL rulebook, which teaches kids how to play. And there is the unofficial, unwritten rulebook, stored in players' heads and psyches, with boundaries determined only when crossed.
How do you know when you've crossed an imaginary line and broken an unwritten rule?
You just know, that's how. If not, a 90 mph fastball directed at your head serves as enforcement.
And there is one more rule in baseball: The unwritten is always more important than the written.
These things played into the early season flap involving Sammy Sosa, accused by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Matt Morris, pitching coach Dave Duncan and manager Tony La Russa of stealing signs in a game last May. The Cubs allegedly were figuring out the location of the pitches Morris was going to throw and relaying the information to Sosa.
So Sosa was accused of cheating, even though the rulebook only prohibits signs being stolen by electronic means. And if that's the official rule, the unwritten part is this: It is OK to steal signs by other means.
Otherwise, why not ban all forms of sign-stealing?
"To be honest with you," former Cy Young Award winner Steve Stone said, "sign-stealing used to be much more of an art than it is now. But as long as you are not stealing signs from the scoreboard, using a camera or something, then you are stealing legitimately."
Part of baseball's code says if Sosa was stealing signs, there was nothing wrong with it. Yet, he felt he had to deny it. In theory, sign-stealing was invented the day after signs were accepted into the fabric of the game. There is a saying in baseball that if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying.
Former players and managers laughed at the Sosa controversy, saying sign-stealing was common and accepted.
"The 1984 (division-winning) Cubs were as good a team as I saw doing that," Stone said. "When I was with the 1971 Giants, we were the best team I'd ever seen at the time. We had a coach, Wes Westrum, he was sensational at it. Within three innings, he would have all the pitches down. The idea that sign-stealing was just invented, that it was just discovered by Matt Morris and that it outraged La Russa, is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
"Everybody steals signs. For years in baseball, they've been corking bats, trying to break up double plays with leg whips, using phantom tags. Pitchers have been standing in front of the rubber three or four inches to get an advantage. And Morris and La Russa are just discovering it now?"
But former New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter, now an analyst on ESPN, lamented that sign-stealing is becoming less prevelant.
Free agency, he said, keeps players from sticking together over the years, and building the camaraderie needed for a good, healthy sign-stealing scheme.
"I don't really have a problem with stealing signs," Showalter said. "The important thing is that there are ways to keep it from happening to you.
"I don't understand how somebody gets upset about it. It's not shame on them for stealing, but shame on you for allowing it to happen. A lot of times, paranoia sets in. You see guys who aren't very good but are taking good swings at breaking balls for a whole series, and you start to wonder what he knows.
"I will say, though, that if Duncan and La Russa thought it was happening, then I would consider that it probably was."
So Showalter thinks Sosa was cheating?
"No," he said. "I did it when I was a player in Double-A, too. I didn't think I was cheating. I thought I was helping my team win."
Showalter talked about the subject with ESPN partner Harold Reynolds. And Reynolds, a former major leaguer, gave a demonstration on the way he used to steal signs for pitch and location.
Reynolds said he would be on second base, studying the opponent's catcher. He would casually put his hand on top of his helmet to alert the batter that he had figured out the signs. Then, if he started his leadoff by walking off the base with his right foot, that meant a fastball was coming. Left foot meant curveball. Shuffling feet meant he wasn't sure. He would let his fight arm dangle away from his body if the pitcher was throwing to the fight side of the plate, and his left hand for the left side.
"I think it's OK," Reynolds said, "if you can do it."
It has gone on forever. And it is so accepted that even Major League Baseball's former cop, Montreal Expos manager Frank Robinson, told the Miami Herald: "There's nothing wrong with trying to find an edge. That's smart. That's not cheating."
Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the 1951 New York Giants made their miracle comeback from 13 and a half games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers with an elaborate sign-stealing scheme that involved telescopes in the scoreboard and a system of bells and buzzers.
Former Cubs catcher Randy Hundley said last year he didn't see what the fuss was about. In 1971, he said, the Cubs were losing big to Cincinnati when, from the bench, Hundley noticed something about Reds catcher Johnny Bench.
"He had those long fingers," Hundley said. "I looked up, and all of a sudden I noticed that sometimes I'd see those fingers and sometimes I wouldn't."
Eventually, Hundley determined that when Bench called for a curveball, he'd drop his fingers down. On fastballs, Hundley didn't see the fingers.
"I told some of our guys: `I've got his signs. If you hear me before a pitch, it's a breaking ball. If you don't, it's a fastball,'" Hundley said. "I'd yell out something like, `Come on, Davey,' or whatever. We came back and won that game."
Hundley also remembered a game in Montreal in which he thought he heard a loud whistle sound every time the Cubs threw a curveball, "so I looked around, and sure enough their third base coach was doing the whistling."
But those were the old days, according to former player and White Sox broadcaster Jimmy Piersall. He believes sign-stealing isn't happening nearly as much today. He thinks the Cubs have probably not stolen many signs all year.
Piersall credits that to catchers adjusting their positions just as a pitch is being thrown. That, he said, has made sign-stealing much more difficult.
"There just isn't enough time anymore to relay the information," Piersall said. "That's why I don't think Sosa's doing it. But these guys today don't know how to steal signs, anyway. They don't talk on the bench with each other about how a catcher's doing this or a pitcher's doing that.
"We used to do it all the time. Then we'd get caught, and the pitcher would knock us on our ..."
That's the other part of the unwritten rule being broken here. These things are supposed to be self-policed. If a pitcher believes someone is stealing his signs, he can deck the batter. Instead, Morris complained publicly, threatening that he might have to hit someone with a pitch if it continued.
Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood offered the necessary retaliation--also part of the unwritten rules--that if Morris can hit players, so can Wood.
"Why would Morris say that?" Stone asked. "Why would he announce he's going to do it?"
Of course, Wood made an announcement, too.
"Yes," Stone said. "You have to defend your players."
It's all right there in the rules.
"No, we don't cheat. And even if we did, I'd never tell you." - Tommy Lasorda
Post by newfieknight on Mar 15, 2007 14:39:45 GMT -5
Who ever said that stealing signs was cheating, if anything it not only shows how much your into the game, but also gives the batter a little better of a chance of making contact with the ball, and in a rec league where you have players trying their hardest, but are just that rec players, It's a part of the game, always will be, what ever a team can do to improve there chances of winning, and the thing about pitcher hitter batters who are stealing signs, come on give me a break, getting taking deep, yes maybe, but because someone can figure out the signs i don't think so, but makes for great conversation.
I remember newfieknight once stealing signs from me in a game, and I also remember him talking to me about it after and agreeing that it should be done without noticing knowing full well that there might be consequences for doing such a thing. If you ever did it again I didn't know about it.
I remember newfieknight once stealing signs from me in a game, and I also remember him talking to me about it after and agreeing that it should be done without noticing knowing full well that there might be consequences for doing such a thing. If you ever did it again I didn't know about it. P.s. Hope all is going well Rob. Hopefully you will make it around the area again. Good to hear from you!!! Steve
Post by newfieknight on Apr 26, 2007 12:19:15 GMT -5
Steve no doubt about it, you start stealing signs, be prepared to take one for the team (right in the back). A topic such as that makes for great conversation, and for those of us that has played the game for some time would probably agree. Again sounds like another great year for the Bmfl. league, you guys are doing a super job with that league, for starters having a Knight as league president wow nothing tops that . Steve great hearing from you by' continue doing what your doing and the league will be a success for years to come, and of course, if in the area, I'll drop by for chat and a beer, take care, say hello to your beautiful wife for me, and if you get the chance give those horses a pat on the back for me also. lol