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Russell Martin and Robert Andino have postgame shouting match over tipping Mariano Rivera’s pitches

Apr 10, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2012-04-10 at 9.38.29 AM

Moments after Mariano Rivera closed out a 6-2 win over Baltimore last night Yankees catcher Russell Martin was shouting at Orioles second baseman Robert Andino, with both players needing to be held back as their teams left the field.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Martin and the Yankees believed Andino was signaling Rivera’s pitch locations to hitters while standing on second base, although everyone involved downplayed the incident afterward.

Joe Girardi dismissed it as merely “boys being boys” and Martin said: “I don’t remember what happened at the end there. A little yapping session towards the end. Nothing crazy.”

Andino declined to comment, but he might have something to say if the Yankees decide to retaliate with a plunking in today’s game. Asked if that was in the plans, Martin replied: “Maybe it’ll make it more exciting, I don’t know. I can’t predict the future. It’s fun. It’s baseball, there’s emotions flying and stuff. What else can I say?”

Hoch notes that this isn’t the first time Martin has been angry about alleged pitch tipping by an opponent, as he accused the Blue Jays of doing the same against Bartolo Colon last July. And of course it’s worth noting that base runners relay signs and pitch locations to hitters all the time, usually without incident. It would be interesting to know what Martin thinks of the whole practice when his teammates are the ones doing it.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Funny story. We all know that Rivera only throws one pitch.

    • groundruledoublebourbon - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      Tipping location, not pitch.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        Doesn’t matter. It is still hard to hit.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        Actually, there is a man in white in CF who is tipping pitch location.

      • amaninwhite - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Exactly what I was thinking. The headline should read “Rivera’s location”. Everyone in the park knows what pitch is coming, yet nobody is as effective as you’d think. A true marvel.

      • madhatternalice - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        “Russell Martin and Robert Andino have postgame shouting match over tipping Mariano Rivera’s location.”

        psst…he’s on the mound.
        ;)

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Testosterone induced posturing, everyone does it.

  2. nategearhart - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Hmmm…I guess Martin never frames pitches or anything sneaky like that then, huh?

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      He framed 2 on Markakis’ last AB. Nick struck out looking and was only thrown one strike.

      • fellspointbird - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        Nicky Wheels walked twice in that AB & ended up w a strike-out. Really changed that 8th inning too, as the O’s really grinded down Robertson (did he throw 30+ pitches?).

        I just wish that Showalter had given the ump more hell for that.

      • brian32556 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

        @fellspointbird
        Obviously you are not familiar with David Robertson. Its why they call him Houdini – he tends to ‘apparently’ get himself into trouble and then pitches out of it. He did over the weekend in Tampa and literally dozens of times last year. You may think you’re grinding him down…and then he strikes out the side. That’s why he was an all-star last year.

      • Loose Changeup - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        Here’s a link to the pitchfx for Markakis’ “strikeout” (I hope this works)
        http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?s_type=3&sp_type=1&batterX=70&inning1=y&inning2=y&inning3=y&inning4=y&inning5=y&inning6=y&inning7=y&inning8=y&inning9=y&month=04&day=09&game=gid_2012_04_09_nyamlb_balmlb_1%2F&year=2012&pitchSel=502085&prevGame=gid_2012_04_09_nyamlb_balmlb_1%2F

      • basedrum777 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        Those charts never show the true impact of a pitch which crosses the plate at the front and tails off over the distance of the plate. Addtionally they dont take into account the height of the batter which obviously affects their strikezone.

      • Loose Changeup - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        Those pitches were middle out, 4-6″ outside, which has nothing to do with batter height, and they were cutters without enough break to have gone through the strike zone.

  3. drewsylvania - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    That’s baseball.

  4. deadeyedesign23 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Now he knows if it’s a cutter or a cutter. Could also be a cutter though.

  5. Kevin S. - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Seems like I was beaten to the punch on the “how do you tip the pitch on a one-pitch pitcher” jokes, so I’ll just say that Martin’s acting like a little bitch here. There’s absolutely no reason for Andino not to indicate where Martin’s set up.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      I never understood why batters don’t just peek down and see where the glove is. Especially when they step out and set up on the corner. It’s obvious.

      • randomdigits - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        Because it is against the unwritten rules and will get you a fastball in the ribs.

        Also the catcher and pitcher will quickly notice you doing it and set up outside and bust you inside.

        That is why you need to hide it by flapping your arm like a chicken wing or something.

      • hammyofdoom - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        Not saying its fair, but if you look down at the glove or signals you WILL get drilled. I’ve heard stories of players looking down, or trying to, only to have the catcher look them dead in the eye and say something along the lines of “If you want a REAL good look at the pitch, I can help you with that”

    • rollinghighwayblues - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      Agreed. I haven’t seen a clip of the tipping but there should be a line drawn on how blatant the tipping is. I have no problem with tipping as long as its subtle and the runner is not making it painfully obvious.

      On the other side of the coin, one can also blame Martin for setting up too early.

    • brian32556 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Looked more like Andino behaving “like a little bitch” as Martin just smiled at him and said come and get it.

    • djpostl - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Actually, it’s pretty much an unwritten rule that you do it at your own risk. He can do it, but he can also eat a ball in the ribs for it.

  6. randomdigits - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    You don’t want baserunners tipping location then keep them off the bases. Of course Andino was tipping location, why wouldn’t you?

  7. boh930 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Settle down there, Russ. It’s game 4 of the season and you’re playing the Orioles. If you don’t make the playoffs because you only beat the O’s by 4 in April, you can scream and yell all you want.

  8. js20011041 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I really don’t have a problem with this. This type of “cheating” is simply a part of baseball. Of course if you get caught and the batter gets drilled in the ass, well I don’t have a problem with that either. These things usually work themselves out.

    • rooney24 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      The thing is, it isn’t cheating. The batter can look where the catcher is. The batter can even look at the sign for the pitch. That is why the catchers use the glove and their bodies to shield the info. It is only cheating if someone outside of the players on the field are stealing the signs, or if they are using technology to steal or relay the signs.

      • djpostl - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Hence the “cheating” as opposed to plain ol’ cheating. It is “frowned upon” is probably a better way to phrase it though. Pitchers do not like ti and I have zero problem with them putting one in your ribcage for it.

        Be more subtle Rob, goes a long way.

  9. atworkident - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Gregg Williams is giving the pre-game speech for the Yanks pitching staff. Anyone want to guess how much the bounty is for Andino?

    I heard if you kill the head the body will follow. They want Andino running sideways.

  10. yankeesfanlen - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Martin heard from Grumpy that it’s what catchers do.

  11. DJ MC - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    According to reports from other Orioles fans who saw Martin interviewed after the game, he had a look on his face described by all as a “shit-eating grin”.

    I hate beanball wars, and I’m not a big fan of brawls, but if Andino gets hit over this I hope the night ends in cracked Yankees helmets and 60 ejections between the two teams. If the Yankees want to get bitchy over nothing and start risking the health of players because of it, give it back.

    I really, really hope it doesn’t come to that, though, and both teams can relax for the rest of the series. As has been mentioned, everyone knows what is coming from Rivera, and that it will most likely be in the strike zone, so any more information isn’t going to help much. Just let it go.

    • daisycutter1 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Settle down, big fella.

      Girardi doesn’t have opposing players hit for stuff like this. He’s not Joe Torre, who wouldn’t even have his pitchers retaliate when his own batters were repeatedly used for target practice, but I can’t see him calling for or even allowing Andino to be hit intentionally over something every team, including his own, does.

  12. ptfu - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Wait, this is Robert Andino, the guy who ended the Red Sox season last year. And that doesn’t get him off the hook with the Yankees, at least once?

  13. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    This is one of those things like a batter glancing back to see where the catcher sets up, or even the signs between a pitcher and a catcher: you can do what you want but make sure the other team doesn’t know about it. Martin could try setting up later, and Andino needs to be a little bit more subtle about his relay codes.

  14. bravojawja - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I guess Martin just uses the same signs when there’s a runner on second as when the bases are empty. He’s an awfully trusting fellow.

  15. danielcp0303 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    I wouldn’t even try and hide the fact I’m trying to tip pitches. I would stand there on second and yell the pitch and location if I could. Nothing wrong with it

  16. amskollar - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    If it was Arod tipping the pitches everyone would be all over him for it. If any other team reacted how Martin and the Yankees did most of you either wouldn’t care or would support the pitcher/catcher, but because it’s the Yankees they are automatically in the wrong.

  17. dowhatifeellike - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I could see getting upset if it was a close game, but this was in the bottom of the 9th and NY was up 6-2.

    If I’m down 4 in the last inning, you bet your arse I’m doing everything I can to upset the apple cart.

  18. Paul White - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I’ve always found it odd that teams take such great offense when signs are stolen or pitches are tipped. Look, clearly you understand that runners on second base are trying to figure out what pitch is coming, otherwise YOU WOULDN’T USE SIGNS. So when those runners actually do the thing that you knew all along they were doing when you developed your intricate sign sequences, what’s the problem?

  19. mybrunoblog - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Robert Andino?? Um huh? Hey Andino, RIvera is a LEGEND. You are a footnote to a footnote of baseball history. STFU and go away quietly….Maybe If your lucky RIvera will sign a ball for you someday.

  20. lardin - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I have no problem with Sign stealing or pitch tipping by the 25 guys in uniform, its part of the game. Its also part of the game that if/when they get caught, they leave the batters box with stitch marks on their ribs..

  21. pharmerbrown - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    I always thought that pitch tipping was something pitchers do, by holding the ball in a different part of the glove, pointing a toe toward third instead of toward first, things like that. Like Pedro right before he retired… you could see the change-up coming because he opened his glove way wider to get his fingers around it. Watch Darren Oliver of the Rangers (formerly) clutch every pitch like it is his splitter/ fork ball when he brings the ball to the glove, but change his grip after the sign is received. Why? Because it would be obvious when we was loading up a fork, hence the pitch would be “tipped” off to the batter. What Andino is accused of is sign stealing. Seemed to be a normal part of the game until recently; one that was kept in check with the occassinal plunking. Obviously that had changed as plunkings are now overscrutinized as any other aspect of the game.

    If the pitcher is going to get warned, ejected, suspended, or fined for retaliating to sign stealing, and the league will not take action against sign stealers, it makes for a slightly hypocritical position.

  22. poprox13 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Russell Martin is a whiny punk.

  23. psousa1 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Watching Red Sox – Blue Jays last night and the Boston catchers are going through a series of signs with nobody on base. I assume there is a rumored sign stealer in Toronto. Even if there is not it is a helluva psychological advantage.

  24. sabatimus - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Um, so what? Sign stealing happens ALL the time, and has happened for DECADES. This story appears to be more about two guys getting their panties bunched up.

  25. basedrum777 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    The question I have to pose is just would the O’s fans rather they just handle it like a normal situation and put one in his earhole or to say something to him first? I would guess the latter. No big deal. Andino overreacted.

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