Red Sox

Report of Houston Astros sign-stealing shows that, apparently, Red Sox weren't only ones stealing signs in 2017

Report of Houston Astros sign-stealing shows that, apparently, Red Sox weren't only ones stealing signs in 2017

Apparently, the Boston Red Sox weren't the only ones stealing signs in 2017. 

The Houston Astros reportedly were stealing signs electronically en route to their World Series Championship victory, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

Houston had a camera set up in center field, zeroed in on the opposing team's catcher, feeding signs to a monitor in a walkway between the dugout and clubhouse at Minute Maid Park, per the report. While sitting on massage tables opposite the screen, Astros' employees and players reportedly watched the screen as they tried to determine the signs.

When the person had determined the sign, the pitch expected to be thrown was communicated via a loud banging noise. The banging came off a trash can sitting in the tunnel, and normally meant an off-speed or breaking ball would be thrown.

In simpler terms, the video below describes exactly how the Astros used technology to steal signs -- and it's a pretty elaborate scheme. 

While the Astros are under fire, it's a reminder of how the Red Sox were able to steal signs that same season using Apple watches. Investigators from Major League Baseball determined the Red Sox used the watches to steal signs when playing the New York Yankees and other teams. The Sox admitted to stealing signs and ultimately were fined an undisclosed amount. The two teams met in the best-of-five ALDS that season, with the Astros winning in four games on their way to their first World Series title. The Red Sox would win their playoff rematch in five games in the ALCS in 2018 on their way to a World Series title.

The Athletic report quotes an anonymous major league manager as saying that sign-stealing using advanced technology is "an issue that permeates the whole league" and that MLB has "done a very poor job of policing or discouraging it."

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Pedro Martinez hopes MLB owners, players can think about fans and compromise

Pedro Martinez hopes MLB owners, players can think about fans and compromise

The NHL has announced a return-to-play strategy. The NBA could announce its plan as soon as Thursday after a Board of Governors vote.

And then there's Major League Baseball.

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MLB's first proposal was quickly shot down by the Players' Association, which submitted its own plan over the weekend. That's also expected to be immediately dismissed. And as the days tick by, the hopes for a 2020 season get dimmer. While there's still time to salvage a season, the lack of productive dialogue between the league and the MLBPA is getting discouraging.

Speaking on NBC Sports Network's "Lunch Talk Live" on Monday afternoon, Pedro Martinez voiced his frustration with the stalemate.

"I'm hoping that both sides actually stop thinking about their own good and start thinking about the fans," Martinez said. "I think this is a perfect time to have their baseball teams out there and try to have the people forget a little bit about what's going on. It's not only the pandemic, it's everything that's going on. People need something to actually do and find a way to relax. I hope that the Players' Association and MLB realize how important it is to bring some sort of relief to people."

Martinez is spot-on with the sentiment that sports returning would be a welcome respite from the news right now. But getting players back on the field is proving to be complicated, especially as the sides navigate the financials of a shorter season without revenue from tickets.

"The economics is the dark part of baseball. The business part of baseball is dirty. It's dark," Martinez told Tirico. "And I hope that they take into consideration who pays our salaries, what the people do for us, how important the people are, and forget about or at least bend your arm a little bit to find a middle ground for the negotiations.

Let's not be selfish about it. Let's think about the fans, let's think about the families that are home that want to at least watch a baseball game and distract themselves from all the things that are going on.

Ongoing disputes over money are reflecting horribly on the sport, and cancelling the entire 2020 season could do irreperable harm to a sport that has seen its popularity ebb in recent years.

Fans can only hope that the sides take Pedro's advice, and find some common ground — and do it quickly. 

Relive Manny Ramirez's greatest moments on Red Sox legend's 48th birthday

Relive Manny Ramirez's greatest moments on Red Sox legend's 48th birthday

One of the most entertaining players ever to don a Boston Red Sox uniform was born 48 years ago today.

That would be Manny Ramirez, who celebrates his birthday on May 30. In honor of the special occasion, Major League Baseball tweeted an awesome video that includes some of Ramirez's greatest moments:

Watch below:

That cutoff of Johnny Damon's throw never gets old.

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Ramirez joined the Red Sox in 2001 after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Cleveland Indians. From there, he became a key contributor to two World Series titles (2004 and 2007) and furthered his legacy as one of the best right-handed hitters of all time.

He isn't done yet, either. Ramirez announced just a couple of months ago he is hoping to find a roster spot in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League. More "Manny Being Manny"? That sounds great to us.

We wish a very happy birthday to one of the greatest (and most interesting) players in Red Sox history.