Roberts refutes Mets' suggestion of sign-stealing

May 31st, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Manager Dave Roberts was clearly annoyed with insinuations by the Mets that the Dodgers have a “system” for knowing what pitches are coming. Roberts responded to their comments on Thursday, a day after several Mets intimated that the Dodgers may have developed an advantage beyond the bounds of MLB rules.

“I guess if they feel ... the quality of at-bats we put up against these guys was not as a result of our talent and our preparation, then that’s their decision,” Roberts said. “I can’t change their thoughts.”

Both Mets manager Mickey Callaway and bench coach Jim Riggleman suggested in a New York Post story that the Dodgers might have known what pitches were coming while winning two of their first three matchups this week. While Riggleman added, “I don’t think it’s anything illegal,” and no Met publicly accused the Dodgers of sign-stealing, several in the clubhouse at least seemed suspicious.

Callaway did nothing to dissuade such thoughts after the Dodgers scored four times in the ninth inning on Wednesday off Mets closer Edwin Diaz, saying, “We were a little perplexed at some of the pitches they hit. It seemed like they were well executed, with really good stuff.”

Diaz noted that he thought he “threw excellent pitches” with “good velocity.”

Added Wednesday’s starter, Noah Syndergaard, who allowed three runs in six innings: “I’m still trying to scratch my head how they were able to get those balls in play on the fastballs up and in on the zone. I felt I made a nice adjustment going down and away once I realized what their approach was.”

The Mets stopped short of directly accusing the Dodgers of any foul play. When asked again about the issue on Thursday, Callaway responded, “I don’t know what they’re doing.”

“It seems like they’re on every pitch,” he continued. “So I don’t know if they’re teaching better than everybody else. You see them out there with the pitching machine in early work, throwing hard, 96, 97, and those guys are on time and crushing those pitches. And they’re fouling off our really good pitches. So I don’t know if they have something, or if they’re just really talented and they’re working the right way. … The bottom line is it doesn’t matter really what they’re doing. We’ve got to figure it out and adjust.”

Heading into Thursday’s series finale, the Dodgers had scored 21 runs over their first three games against the Mets. They lead the National League in runs, runs per game and OPS, among other categories.

When asked if the insinuations should be expected considering the Dodgers’ relentless offense, Roberts took a harsher tone.

“To be quite honest, I really don’t care what they think,” he said. “I know that we play within the constructs of the rules. We prepare really well, we have really good players and we compete every pitch. So, to think we are doing any other undercover-op thing, wow. I don’t know. I don’t know.”