Aug 10, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT
Four players have confirmed to ESPN that they’ve witnessed Blue Jays hitters being relayed signs from the center-field stands at Rogers Centre.
An Outside The Lines reports details the allegations and an incident involving one of the players and Jose Bautista. The report claims that a man in center field, situated perfectly behind the pitcher in a batter’s eyeline, was gesturing to indicate offspeed pitches for Toronto hitters.
The man caught the eyes of one team, and a player sent a message to Bautista following an at-bat in a game last season:
“We know what you’re doing,” he said. “If you do it again, I’m going to hit you in the [f——] head.”
Bautista acknowledged the confrontation, but he denied that the Jays have anything to do with sign-stealing.
“First of all, I don’t even know how you can do that,” Bautista said. “And second of all, it’s obviously something that’s not legal in the game. We do not cheat.”
But opposing teams certainly think they do. The Yankees and Red Sox have both been throwing down multiple signs even with no one on base when they face the Jays at Rogers Centre. ESPN even cites our report from a Red Sox game in June, though without feeling the need to give us any credit. The Yankees’ Russell Martin said the Jays were stealing signs last month, though he believed it was baserunners responsible for the deed.
Once again this year, Blue Jays hitters are faring much better at home than on the road. They’ve hit .261 with 71 homers in 55 games in Toronto, compared to .249 with 57 homers in 60 games elsewhere.
Here are the individual OPS splits for all of the Jays with 180 at-bats this season:
Jose Bautista: 1.155 home, 1.030 road
Yunel Escobar: .957 home, .699 road
Edwin Encarnacion: .921 home, .670 road
Adam Lind: .807 home, .755 road
Eric Thames: .794 home, .684 road
Rajai Davis: .735 home, .512 road
J.P. Arencibia: .697 home, .757 road
Travis Snider: .687 home, .561 road
Corey Patterson: .659 home, .671 road
Juan Rivera: .629 home, .702 road
Aaron Hill: .595 home, .587 road
Interestingly enough, two of the three players to actually perform better on the road were given away in trades last month.
The argument against the Jays’ stealing signs is that they aren’t actually winning at home. They’re 28-27 at Rogers Centre this year and 30-30 on the road. Last year, though, they went 46-35 at home, compared to 39-42 on the road. Those 2010 Blue Jays hit .253 with 150 homers at home, compared to .243 with 107 homers on the road.
This story isn’t going away, so it’d be nice if MLB decided to take an interest at some point. Contacted for ESPN’s story, a spokesman responded: “Major League Baseball has never received a complaint from any club about sign stealing in Toronto, and this is first [we’ve been] made aware of it.”
Update: Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous will address the sign-stealing charges at 3:45 p.m. EDT this afternoon.
Apr 18, 2015, 11:26 PM EDT
Grant Balfour was designated for assignment following a disastrous Saturday night against the Yankees.
Apr 18, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT
Joe Nathan could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Wednesday.
Apr 18, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
If you’re in the mood for a laugh, you’ll want to read this story involving Indians manager Terry Francona and his dad Tito.
Apr 18, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT
Kris Bryant, one of baseball’s top prospects, earned his first major league hit and RBI on Saturday afternoon against the Padres.
Apr 18, 2015, 8:16 PM EDT
More drama involving the Athletics and Royals.
Apr 18, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT
Did Brett Lawrie apologize to Alcides Escobar for his hard slide in Friday’s game between the Athletics and Royals? We’re not sure.
Apr 18, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT
Ryan Braun will lead off for the first time in his career in Saturday’s game against the Pirates.
Apr 18, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT
Jake Peavy is dealing with lower back issues.
Apr 18, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT
Hamilton suffered the injury beating out an infield single in the eighth inning.
Apr 18, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT
Justin Verlander’s return to the Tigers doesn’t appear imminent.
Apr 18, 2015, 5:20 PM EDT
Hamilton filed for divorce in late February, which is right around the time when word leaked about his offseason drug relapse.
Apr 18, 2015, 4:19 PM EDT
You’ll be seeing MLB’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose in FOX’s coverage of baseball this season.
Apr 18, 2015, 4:12 PM EDT
The home run traveled at a distance of 461 feet. My goodness.
Apr 18, 2015, 3:58 PM EDT
Scary moment in today’s Phillies-Nationals game, as home plate umpire Brian Knight was forced to exit after he was hit in the facemask by a pitch in the top of the ninth inning.
Apr 18, 2015, 3:47 PM EDT
Greg Holland has been one of the game’s best relievers dating back to 2011, but the Royals will have to make due without him for a little while.
Apr 18, 2015, 2:56 PM EDT
The Cardinals are calling Holliday’s exit “precautionary,” so it’s probably safe to consider him day-to-day.
Apr 18, 2015, 2:27 PM EDT
Tracy, 26, was designated for assignment by the Yankees last Sunday.
Apr 18, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT
The Nats’ infield depth is being tested in the early part of the season.
Apr 18, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT
Schoop was off to a nice start so far this season, batting .259 (7-for-27) with three home runs and a .940 OPS over nine games.
Apr 18, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT
Reds right-hander Homer Bailey landed on the disabled list at the end of spring training while he completed his rehab from surgery to repair a tear of the flexor tendon in his elbow, but he has been activated to make his season debut this afternoon against the Cardinals.
- Video: Watch Kris Bryant get his first major league hit and RBI 4
- Yordano Ventura ejected for hitting Brett Lawrie with a pitch 15
- Pete Rose joins FOX as a baseball analyst 18
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 55
- Josh Hamilton’s teammates say he’s in great shape and ready to play 28
- Mike Trout hit his 100th career home run to become the youngest member of the 100 HR/100 SB club 26
- Make that two: Alex Rodriguez hits second homer of the night, giving him 658 for his career 48
- Alex Rodriguez hit his 657th career home run 49
- The Commissioner’s Office thinks that the Angels could indeed go after Josh Hamilton under his contract (153)
- “Why Ted Cruz is like the Atlanta Braves” (150)
- “We no longer need the terrorists. We’re now so good at terrorizing ourselves.” (143)
- Another argument in favor of making the DH universal (127)
- When it comes to Josh Hamilton, Arte Moreno is a craven opportunist, not a “smart businessman” (116)