Red Sox

Were Red Sox stealing signs vs. Blue Jays? Shortstop Freddy Galvis thought so and went to absurd lengths to block Mookie Betts

Were Red Sox stealing signs vs. Blue Jays? Shortstop Freddy Galvis thought so and went to absurd lengths to block Mookie Betts

BOSTON -- Freddy Galvis might have a future as an NBA power forward, because when it came time to box out Mookie Betts, he stuck to him like Dennis Rodman.

The Red Sox have a reputation for stealing signs and relaying pitch location to their hitters, and the Blue Jays clearly weren't having it in a 10-4 victory on Tuesday night.

With one out and Betts on second base in the seventh inning, Galvis left shortstop to dance practically on the infield grass directly in front of the Red Sox right fielder until moments before David Phelps pitched. Though it looked like both players shared a laugh, it was also Galvis's serious attempt to keep Betts from relaying signs to J.D. Martinez, who ended up lining out to center.

"You've just got to be very aware of these guys," said Jays catcher Danny Jansen. "That's what they do. That's what their rep is for. You've got to be ready to switch it up and make adjustments every pitch. They're that good at it. They're that good at peeking in and relaying signs. Any way we can obstruct it, we're going to do what we have to do."

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo found the whole exchange amusing and credited Betts for a heads-up response that forced Galvis to retreat.

"That was funny, because honestly, we were thinking he might be doing it, so Freddy was having fun with him," Montoyo said. "Mookie told the umpire, 'Hey, if I go that way, is that obstruction?' And the umpire said yeah, and Freddy said, 'OK, let me move out of the way a little bit.' "

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said he believes perennial Gold Glover Andrelton Simmons is the only other shortstop he can recall actively seeking to block a runner's view to keep him from stealing signs or relaying location. Betts picked the brains of a number of teammates and coaches during the game about Galvis's gambit and whether he could've earned an obstruction call.

"Smart by Mookie," Bogaerts said. "Smart by Mookie."

Stealing signs has been a part of the game practically since Abner Doubleday laid out his first diamond, and there's nothing in the rules that prevents a runner from trying to decode signs with the naked eye and relay them to the hitter. Where teams have gotten into trouble is when they use electronic devices to aid in the thievery, as the Red Sox learned during the Apple Watch fiasco in 2017, when they were caught stealing signs via wireless devices and ultimately fined.

Nothing Betts may have done on Tuesday was illegal, and the gamesmanship didn't end there. After Betts advanced on Martinez's liner, the Toronto TV broadcast caught Andrew Benintendi glancing towards Betts at third before popping out to Galvis to end the frame.

There was nothing Galvis could do to block Betts' view from there, after all.

"Freddy's good at that," Jansen said. "Not just the Red Sox. Whenever he thinks people are [stealing signs], he'll do that and I think that's what a good shortstop does. He's very aware, that's what Freddy is. I love that guy."

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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.