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ALDS fun: Remember when Jim Leyland accused the A’s of stealing signs?

Oct 3, 2013, 12:48 PM EST

Jim Leyland AP

Back in August during a radio interview Tigers manager Jim Leyland accused the A’s of stealing signs:

I still think that they were getting something somewhere. I’m just not believing. I know we made a lot of bad pitches, but I just don’t believe you wear the ball out like that. I’ve seen a lot of games and a lot of series and I’ve seen teams get hot, but I’m a little suspicious that somewhere along the line they were getting something somewhere.

He later backed off those comments, at least publicly, but obviously the A’s still remember. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle followed up on the topic before the two teams match up in the ALDS and here’s what Josh Donaldson told her:

We haven’t stolen a single sign all year. We don’t have a guy in here who even wants a sign–some teams will steal pitch location and we don’t even do that. We laugh when catchers are changing signs because we don’t want them, anyway.

Of course, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a player who says “yeah, we’re constantly stealing signs and everyone on the team would love to have that help all the time.” And if the A’s knock around one of the Tigers’ stud starting pitchers during this series you can be sure Leyland will be asked to revisit the sign-stealing quotes.

  1. NatsLady - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    I don’t see the problem with stealing signs, as long as it’s players or coaches and not somebody in the CF seats with a camera or scope.

    The signs are out there, in plain view. You watch the different catchers, come are smarter than others about giving away signs and pitch location. Don’t like it, get smarter players.

  2. Detroit Michael - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    It’s a non-issue because the Tigers backed off when their video technicians couldn’t find any evidence of it. Hard to create a geniune controversy when there’s not even a disagreement at this point.

    • clydeserra - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      so, in other word, the tigers vaunted starters got lit up and instead of saying “we got lit up” lelaynd has to be an asshole about it? With no evidence?

      Classy.

  3. earpaniac - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    What team was it back in the 40’s-50’s?? that had a guy in the scoreboard w/binoculars, and would light up a light for fastball, or blank for off-speed? I don’t know if it was ever truly confirmed, but I remember reading about it a lot.

    • spursareold - Oct 3, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      The NY (at the time) Giants were accused the year that they caught the Brooklyn Dodgers from way behind in the race on the last day and won the tiebreaker game.

  4. futbolhistorian - Oct 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Someone help me. Is stealing signs illegal?

    • clydeserra - Oct 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      you didn’t receive your Unwritten rule book sign by the author, Brian McCann?

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