Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Quick Word On Stealing Signs

There has been a bit of controversy behind the scenes over the last few days after Keith Olbermann posted a Twitter picture of Yankee officials holding up fingers to their batters during their Opening Day win against the Tigers, presumably telling them what pitches were coming.  Cash acknowledged that MLB called the Yankees about the incident, but called the issue "silly," saying the officials were merely telling hitters in the on-deck circle what pitch had just been thrown because the scoreboard radar gun was malfunctioning.

Whatever the real situation may be, here's the only statement that should have been uttered by everybody: "Who cares?"  Who cares if the Yankee officials were relaying info about what pitch was just thrown or what pitch was just coming?  If they really were trying to steal signs, then good for them.  Stealing signs is an unspoken part of the game that can be traced back to the early history of baseball.  As long as you aren't being incredibly blatant about it or you're receiving sign information from somebody on the opposing team, who really gives a crap?  Every player tries to do it, every team tries to do it, and every player and every team know that the other team is trying to do it.  It's generally accepted as part of the game and there's no reason that this should have even been an issue.

This is just another case of something becoming a story because it involved the big bad Yankees.  It's a way for the MSM to throw the Yankee name out there again in connection with something negative and allow all the Yankee haters out there to cry foul.  "WAHHHHHH!!!!  They already spend the most money to get all the best players.  Now they have to CHEAT too?!?!  WAHHHHHHH!!!"  If it were any other team involved in the game against Detroit on Thursday, no one would have made a peep.  Just more anti-Yankee rhetoric thrown out there for every dumb baseball fan to eat up.

Do I think the Yanks were trying to steal signs on Thursday?  Yeah, I do.  But guess what?  I also think that every baserunner the Yankees had on Thursday was trying to steal Detroit's signs, and I think every baserunner the Tigers had on Thursday was trying to steal the Yankees' signs.  I think Joe and his coaching staff were trying to steal Detroit's signs, and I think Jim Leyland and his staff were trying to steal the Yankees' signs.  And I guaran-damn-tee that some other Detroit Tiger personnel were stationed somewhere in the Stadium trying to pick up on anything they could to steal from the Yankees, just like the Yankee officials were.  It's part of the game, everybody does it, and it's not a big deal.  It only became one because the team with the interlocking "NY" on their hats was involved and because Keith Olbermann thought he was uncovering some major baseball conspiracy.

So to anyone who actually thinks this is a big deal, anyone who wants to call the Yankees cheaters, and especially to Keith Olbermann for being stupid enough to Tweet the picture like it's an unseen angle of the Kennedy assassination, I've got one sign here that you're more than welcome to steal any time you want.

And no, that doesn't mean I'm putting the hit-and-run on.