Skippers agree that argument over sign stealing in the past
Brittany Ghiroli and Bryan Hoch
BALTIMORE -- One night after they were involved in a fiery on-field dispute with allegations of sign stealing, both Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Yankees manager Joe Girardi were optimistic that cooler heads would prevail as their series continued Tuesday.
Showalter was incensed after the first inning of Monday's 4-2 Orioles win because Girardi had walked the length of the visiting dugout to yell at Baltimore third-base coach Bobby Dickerson, who said that Girardi accused him of stealing signs from Yankees catcher Austin Romine.
"It's two very competitive groups that are competing for the same thing [in the American League Wild Card]," Showalter said on Tuesday. "That's the way it's supposed to be, right? It matters. You care. If you care, it matters, like a lot of things in life. You're not very passionate about things you don't care about. So, I think we all stand accused."
Some players left the dugouts and both benches were warned following the argument. Showalter said on Tuesday that he hadn't been contacted by Major League Baseball regarding the altercation, and Girardi said that he did not expect there to be any carryover.
"It's a new day," Girardi said. "That's the thing about our game, is you've got to be able to turn the page -- whether it's players, managers, coaches, whatever happens. Because the new day comes up, and you just move on."
Showalter advanced the storyline somewhat in a radio interview on Tuesday, telling host Mike Lupica that "the Yankees are actually one of the better teams at [stealing signs]," on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. Girardi said that he would not react to Showalter's comment.
"I'm not going to go into it," Girardi said. "I told you, I'm going to do everything I can to protect our players."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he had no issue with how Girardi handled the situation.
"Our job is to make sure teams aren't doing that," Cashman said. "That's all Joe was doing. It's part of the game, and how everyone reacts to each other is different on a daily basis. We're in a pennant race.
"There's always a lot more to it than just what you saw here, usually. ... Buck and Joe, they're big men and they're going to run their clubs the way they want to. I'm glad Joe is looking for that stuff. We've got to shut it down so it doesn't come back and haunt us."
A former big league catcher, Girardi said that catchers are taught to move late and change their signs to guard against opposing teams.
"It's been going on for years," Girardi said. "It went on when I played, and I'm sure it went on way before that. And because you play so much now and you see teams so much now, they're very familiar with what you do, so you have to be creative and you have to protect things."
Showalter said there are at least 15 teams who actively steal signs in baseball, and that clubs should do it if they believe they are able to gain an advantage, calling it a "Captain Obvious thing."
"They're right there for everybody to see, if you figure out the sequences," Showalter said. "There are a lot of clubs that have people who do nothing else but watch the sequences, so it's very easy to camouflage it to keep people from getting it. That's part of the game. It's all part of it."