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.
Astros using cameras to steal signs, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/rncm6qzXxw— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) November 12, 2019
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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