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Tejada stealing signs? Astros are outraged

Sep 15, 2009, 12:26 AM EDT

tejada_cruz_090914.jpgA couple of weeks ago, the New York Times brought to light a story about the 2001 Oakland A’s, and how some of the players were concerned that their star shortstop Miguel Tejada was tipping pitches to friends on opposing teams.

Tejada denied the accusations, his teammates ended up backing him up, and nothing came of it.

Now, come some new barbs thrown Tejada’s way, courtesy of Pittsburgh Pirates closer Matt Capps, who claims Tejada was working in concert with Houston Astros first base coach Jose Cruz to steal signs.

“Just compete,” Capps told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after the game. “You don’t need to do any of that stuff. Those two have a thing going out there. I’m set, and he’s not even looking at me. That tells me all I need to know.”

Tejada called the accusations “ridiculous” and “unbelievable,” and backed up Cruz as well, saying “If he wants to disrespect me, that’s fine. He shouldn’t disrespect any coach.” Cruz went so far as to tell the Houston Chronicle that he was offended:

“Never ever in 13 years that I’ve been here (coaching) and 30 years I’ve been in baseball,” Cruz said. “Shoot. So … yeah, I’m offended. I don’t know how he got the idea that I gave a sign to Tejada.”

First of all, I think the Astros are a little too outraged over this. Sign-stealing is a part of baseball. Everyone does it. Just don’t get caught. Now maybe Tejada and Cruz weren’t in cahoots on that particular play, but spare us the outrage OK?

(In fact, our own Bert Blyleven breaks down the dos and don’ts of stealing signs right here.)

That being said, Capps needs to cut the crybaby act. I’m sure his Pirates teammates steal signs as well – or at least attempt to do it. If you think you caught the other team red-handed, plant your next pitch in the hitter’s ribs. That will get your message across.

  1. THardey - Sep 15, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    This is reminiscent of the Mangini-Belichik video incident a few years back.
    Like Mangini, Capps sounds like a crybaby who shouldnt accuse an adversary of something he could very well be doing himself when the table are turned.
    There are more effective ways of letting an adversary know you know they are up to no good. By creating a public outcry these guys lose all leverage in gaining an upper hand in ways that can help them and their teams in the future.
    But, then again, these are ‘professional’ athletes and coaches we are talking about here.

  2. GetReal - Sep 15, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    THardey… Please!!! You are obvioulsy a Patriots apologist looking for any chance at all to try and change history after the fact.
    What Belichick did (and did for many years) was illegal according to NFL rules, thus he is clearly a cheater. In addition, secretly videotaping an opponent’s pregame walk-throughs is not something that other teams ever do (they may try to watch it live and take quick, handwritten notes on the fly, but they never tape it, which allows for slow-motion, detailed analysis), so claiming that Mangini could have himself cheated the same way is moronic.
    On the other hand, stealing basebal signs is not against any baseball rule, which is why all teams do it. The only rule broken is the “unwritten code” in baseball which dictates that getting caught at stealing signs requires payback via someone getting thrown at.
    So Belichick and the Patriots cheated by breaking specific NFL rules and doing something that no other NFL team does, while the Astros stealing signs did not break any MLB rules and sign-stealing is something that all teams do… so tell me again THardey how these two scenarios somehow equate?

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