La Russa's outside-the-box idea to prevent sign-stealing

/ by Tim Stebbins
Presented By Binny's Beverage Depot

How can Major League Baseball prevent sign-stealing — in its simplest, non-electronic form?

White Sox manager Tony La Russa once pitched a unique, outside-the-box idea to MLB during his stint working in the commissioner's office, which he shared Monday.

"I would have the runner on second base face center field while the catcher is putting the sign down," La Russa said. "I really would."

It didn't go over well. La Russa, who flashed a smile as he shared his idea Monday, said MLB "totally ignored" it.

La Russa spoke in the aftermath of Sox reliever Ryan Tepera suggesting Sunday night the Astros could still be stealing signs electronically following Houston's 12-6 Game 3 ALDS loss.

La Russa stuck to a less controversial mode of sign-stealing discussion and spoke generally of the practice — which is as old as baseball itself. 

RELATED: Ryan Tepera's 'sketchy stuff' comments take over ALDS

"Stealing the catcher's signs, third base coach's signs, looking in the dugout to see if you can pick the run defense signs, that goes on all the time," La Russa said. "What you do is you just change your signs."

La Russa offered another idea to prevent sign-stealing, which would entail an infielder standing in front of a baserunner when the catcher gives their signs.

"Somebody pointed out that the particular team, the second baseman was — they could look over them," La Russa said. "I don't think either one of those was silly, but I don't like having an infielder stand in front of him because that sets up possible confrontation.


"I think the easy thing is to have the guy turn around," La Russa added. "I think it would put an end to it, and it's pretty simple, but it hasn't gotten past my recommendation. That's what I would do."

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