LOS ANGELES -- There's a level of gamesmanship that exists in every MLB game, a concerted effort by each team to gain any edge, no matter how small.A baserunner stealing signs from second base and relaying them to the hitter generally falls in that category, and it was a topic
LOS ANGELES -- There's a level of gamesmanship that exists in every MLB game, a concerted effort by each team to gain any edge, no matter how small.
A baserunner stealing signs from second base and relaying them to the hitter generally falls in that category, and it was a topic of discussion before Friday's Game 3 of the World Series between the Red Sox and the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
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"It's been going on since the game came to be," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "There's a gamesmanship part of it, where you're trying to get an advantage, and coaches, players do that every day."
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According to Bleacher Report, Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie claimed Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado was relaying signs from second base to Yasiel Puig and Enrique Hernandez with David Price on the mound during the fourth inning of Game 2 at Fenway Park by using a series of motions and gestures to tip off the hitters. Puig singled, while Hernandez struck out after nine pitches.
According to the report, LeVangie told Price about Machado's actions during a mound visit after Puig's hit.
"We see this all the time. Not just him, with everyone," LeVangie said. "We are very respectful of all this, and it's a big part of who we are and what we try to manage. As far as our pitching staff, we want to make sure we control those guys at second base and [that] they're not stealing our signs. We're changing our signs constantly, every pitch. Typically, every one of our pitchers will change every pitch."
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he learned about sign stealing and tipping pitches during his playing days at the University of Miami. He really started to pay attention to the minor details of the game when he played winter ball in Puerto Rico.
"In 2000, I played for Sandy Alomar Sr., and Sandy, he was a guy, he'll always tell you, 'The game will tell you something. You just have to pay attention to it,'" Cora said. "The scoreboard is not for the fans. The scoreboard is for the players. Outs, innings, strikes, all that stuff -- if you pay attention to that, something is going to tell you what to do on the field."
As for Rich Hill, who will start Game 4 for the Dodgers on Saturday, he believes it's the pitcher's responsibility to be aware to the possibility of sign stealing every time a runner reaches second base. The same goes for a pitcher tipping his pitches.
"You've got to be a little bit more savvy as a pitcher to have multiple signs and change your signs if something like that is going on," Hill said. "I don't have a problem with guys relaying signs from second base to the hitter, because if you're not, again, kind of equipped to be prepared to change your signs to a different set of signs or a different -- whatever your variation might be, that's on you, the pitcher. That's the way I look at it."
All parties agree that the use of advanced technology, like an Apple Watch or cameras, to get an edge is unacceptable.
"That's where Major League Baseball has done a really good job of trying to make sure that that doesn't happen," Roberts said. "But as far as kind of the sign stealing, I guess everyone's probably guilty of that or attempting to do that."
"Always. People always have to say something," Machado said. "I'll play ball and that's all I can do. Play for my team. That's it."
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.