Emotions in Motion

Whenever a team (or player) accuses another team (or player) of stealing signs, I usually have two immediate thoughts:

1) If you are doing such a poor job of masking your signs, you deserve to have your signs stolen.

2) If you are bad enough at it that you get caught, you should admit that you were trying to steal signs.  There is no rule in MLB against stealing signs so why the big conspiracy to hide it if that’s what you’re doing?

In the midst of being swept by the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba accused both Mark Teixeria and Andruw Jones of stealing signs.  They, of course, denied it and Joe Girardi got all high and mighty when asked about it.  But, in truth, who knows?  Someday we could find out that every home run Alex Rodriguez ever hit with men on base was because he was being fed signs.  Does it matter?  There is a poll up on ESPN.com asking fans if stealing signs is “cheating” or “gamesmanship” and, as of this writing, an overwhelming 73% of well over 14,000 people voting call it “gamesmanship”.

I should add a 3) to the above list which would be:  If you think a player/team is stealing signs, instead of making it public with the press or bitching to said player/team…deal with it during the game.  If you think Teixeira is stealing signs, send him a message during his next at-bat.  The “you send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of yours to the morgue” mentality, right?  You steal our signs, we give you a physical memory of why you shouldn’t do that.  Any time the team claiming their signs are being stolen starts talking to the press about it all I can think of is, “And what will talking about it solve?”.  Deal with it during the game just like you would someone going in harder than you think necessary to break up a double play.

On a similar note, after David Price hit Kevin Youkilis last night, both benches got warned because the umpire seemed to think it was retaliation for Youkilis running over Casey Kotchman Tuesday night.  Many Rays fans took to the Internet to complain about Youk even when Kotchnan publicly came out to say there was obviously no intent.  (For the record, it didn’t occur to me until the ump started yelling that the hit was on purpose.) Even so, Rays site Rays Index created the below gif from the incident, naming the file “Youk is a dirty fack”.  Given the fighting  history of these teams, I suppose the Rays fans might have been hoping for some kind of fight to galvanize the team.  Unfortunately, all they got was a series loss and a whole game back in the standings.

If you can look at this and see malicious intent, you must be a Rays fan.

So heading into interleague play, the Red Sox finish a road trip with a record of 8-1.  The Sox will ride this wave into the weekend with the Milwaukee Brewers in town.  While I love the record the Sox have in interleauge, I don’t often get too excited for it.  The Brewers have been to Fenway before so it isn’t exactly new ground.  All I really care about in regard to the weekend is that the team wins.  John Lackey, Jon Lester* and Tim Wakefield will lead the charge.  I’m confidant in their abilities to keep the winning going!  Howsabout a TEN game winning streak this time around?

*A reminder that Saturday’s game, originally scheduled to being at 1:10pm, will be starting at 7:10pm to accommodate the Boston Bruins victory parade.  A better reason to change the time of a game, I can’t think of!

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