Volquez dismisses talk of sign-stealing
TORONTO -- On Monday night, after giving up eight runs in two-plus innings in the Royals' 11-8 loss in Game 3 of the ALCS, right-hander Johnny Cueto said he had trouble adjusting from the higher height of the bullpen mound to the normal height of the diamond mound.
He apparently also told teammate Edinson Volquez that he suspected the Blue Jays of stealing signs.
"Johnny said that last night, but that's your [own] fault," Volquez said, rather bluntly. "You've got to hide the ball and have better communication with the catcher giving you signs when you're pitching. So [there's] nothing wrong with [stealing signs]. We just have to hide the ball and give multiple signs to hide it from them."
For years there have been rumors that the Blue Jays steal signs from the catcher, even suspicions of a mysterious man in a white shirt in the center-field stands relaying information to the hitters.
"That's what I hear," Volquez said. "Most of the teams that come here -- we've got a lot of friends on different teams -- they always say that; they give the signs or whatever it is. But I don't go crazy with it. I just want to pitch my own game."
The Blue Jays were MLB's highest-scoring team this season, leading the Majors in runs scored both at home (450) and on the road (441).
"It's happened all year -- that people have accused us of stealing signs -- but I guess that's what happens when you're doing the kinds of things we've been doing offensively this year," said Toronto first baseman Chris Colabello. "They can keep believing what they want, it's going to impact them more than us."
Added Blue Jays manager John Gibbons: "No, we don't do any of that. We're here to play baseball. We've had guys come and go over the years, and even when guys have come back and they've had an axe to grind, that's never been an issue."
Cueto told Volquez about the longtime "man in center field" rumor, but Volquez seemed to doubt that a hitter could receive info quickly enough to process it.
"You see how hard it is, [to] look to center field and [to] see somebody do this or do that, it's really hard to do that," Volquez said. "But when a guy gets on second base, [Cueto] said something about that, too, that they were giving signs to the hitter. But I don't know."
The Royals didn't seem to agree with Cueto's explanations for his performance.
As for the bullpen mound being too high, manager Ned Yost said, "I don't think Kris Medlen had any trouble adjusting, it was Johnny that had trouble adjusting to it."
Said general manager Dayton Moore: "Major League Baseball measures the mounds all the time. There's nothing more to say about that."
As for the Blue Jays stealing signs, no formal complaints have ever been made to Major League Baseball -- at least that have been made public.
"I'm not that concerned about it," Moore said. "Just go out and compete. Go out and play."