Patrick Corbin confirmed reports Thursday that the Nationals were warned about the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing techniques prior to the 2019 World Series.
The left-hander met with media at the Nationals’ West Palm Beach spring training facility for the first time since arriving in Florida. With the Astros set to host a press conference later that morning and address the scandal that’s rocked the franchise this offseason, Corbin gave his thoughts on the American League pennant winners’ illicit activity.
“We were prepared going in there,” Corbin told reporters. “We heard things, we didn’t know exactly what happened. But … it’s a little frustrating when you look at it and you see who they hurt and people that they hurt with the decisions that they made.
“It seems like it’s not done yet so we’ll see what happens, what else comes out. But I think everyone in here is just focused on what we need to do to try to do it again.”
While Corbin believes that runners stealing signs from second base is part of the game, he felt for the teams who faced the Astros that didn’t know about their use of technology to gain an advantage and “couldn’t do anything about it to defend themselves.”
In an effort to combat Houston’s scheme, the Nationals used laminated cards with different sets of signs for each pitcher that both pitchers and catchers had on them during games. The Nationals were then able to switch signs at any time to keep the system from being cracked.
“If you had to do that all season and when guys aren’t on base, I know [MLB is] trying to shorten the game but this would definitely lengthen that out,” Corbin said. “I don’t know what the rules are going to be or things like that moving forward with cameras and video and what you can watch during games so I guess we’ll see.”
Corbin is just relieved the Nationals beat the Astros and haven’t had to face the uncertainty that teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees who lost to Houston in crucial playoff series over the past few seasons have this winter.
“It would’ve hurt for sure, a little more, [if we had lost],” Corbin said. “Thank God we don’t have to deal with that and we got the job done.”
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