Sport ​Are the Astros stealing signs to gain an edge in ALCS? Hopefully.

19:50  17 october  2019
19:50  17 october  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

James Paxton, Yankees know Astros can and will pick up on pitching signs

  James Paxton, Yankees know Astros can and will pick up on pitching signs HOUSTON — The Astros have a reputation for being good at stealing signs and picking up on opposing pitchers’ small tells, especially at Minute Maid Park. The Yankees know all too well what the Astros are capable of. In April, James Paxton got hit hard, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in just four innings work here. After that, the Yankees left-hander, who will start Game 2 for the Yankees Sunday night, said he was told he was tipping his pitches by former Astro and current Yankee advisor Carlos Beltran.“That’s been addressed,” Paxton said Saturday night. “It’s something we are very aware of.

The Yankees’ preparation for the American League Championship Series included measures to prevent the Astros ’ from utilizing two other team strengths … sign stealing and making opposing pitchers pay for tipping pitches. “It’s a giant emphasis for us behind the scenes all the time trying to be

Major League Baseball concluded the Houston Astros were not trying to steal signs when they had an employee monitor opposing dugouts during the Teams routinely try to gain an advantage by trying to detect patterns, whether it's a catcher showing signs to a pitcher on the mound or a third-base coach

The Astros are the best team in baseball. Most observers will agree on that.

a close up of a baseball player holding a bat© Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Broadly speaking, this is because Houston hits the best, pitches the best, executes the best and takes advantage of every opportunity to win — and, perhaps most importantly, takes advantage of their opponents' mistakes. It’s that last thing we’re going to talk about now.

RIVERA: Astros show that old-fashioned pitching still plays

A lot of people think the Astros steal signs from their opponents. This is not new. The Yankees, their ALCS opponent, are the latest to make the accusation. Well, good for the Astros. If an opponent has signs that are easy to steal, regardless of how they’re stolen, that to me is the same as a pitcher tipping his pitches, or hanging a curveball, or a fielder making an error that helps start a rally. Mistakes are mistakes. Sloppiness loses baseball games. Period.

Report: Yankees believe Astros were stealing signs by whistling in Game 1 of ALCS

  Report: Yankees believe Astros were stealing signs by whistling in Game 1 of ALCS According to a report, a Yankees coach noticed a whistling sound coming from the Houston dugout before certain pitches during the ALCS opener at Minute Maid Park. The Yankees became angry and yelled across the field, believing the whistling was a form of sign-stealing and was being used to alert batters to what pitch was coming. A number of coaches and executives said that such an act would be widely considered a violation of the sport’s “unwritten rules.”“They are NASA,” one coach said. “If a pitcher is tipping and the players can see from the dugout, no biggie. If they get it from somewhere else, that’s dicey.

Passan writes that the league has not punished the Astros for any illegal behavior following the investigation. serves as a reminder and/or an eye-opener that most, if not all teams throughout the league are willing to push the boundaries and utilize technology in an effort to gain a competitive edge .

Kyle McLaughlin was seen aiming a cell phone in the opposing dugout in the ALDS and the ALCS .

It’s not a new argument, but if the Astros are stealing signs, their opponents just need better signs. It’s as simple as that. If your code is easy to crack, the problem is on you, not the codebreaker.

“I don’t think it’s any secret they do it," a source told the New York Post this week. “They bang pipes (to relay signs). We have heard they have cameras around the park and that some way of communicating originates from their bullpen. Just look at their home record.’’

The Astros went 60-21 at home this season. So what?

While stealing is usually wrong, context is everything. I would argue that stolen signs are more of a gift.

“But wait a minute, Jason. Some believe they might be using technology to steal signs.”

I’m glad you brought that up. My answer: They should be. And yes, I know it’s against the rules. But no, it shouldn’t be.

MLB: Astros weren't whistling to relay stolen Yankees signs in ALCS, report says

  MLB: Astros weren't whistling to relay stolen Yankees signs in ALCS, report says The Yankees are very paranoid about the Astros stealing signs. © Provided by Perform Media Channels LimitedIn fact, according to the New York Post, an unidentified source familiar with the situation says the Yankees believed the Astros were using whistles to relay stolen signs to each other during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.“I don’t think it’s any secret they do it,’’ the person said. “They bang pipes. We have heard they have cameras around the park and that some way of communicating originates from their bullpen. Just look at their home record.

Sign - stealing has existed nearly as long as the game of baseball has been played. And some suspect the Astros to be guilty of more than just sign - stealing . Earlier this year, Bauer questioned how his old rival Gerrit Cole could suddenly increase spin rate after Houston acquired him from Pittsburgh.

HOUSTON — Dallas Keuchel is a fine pitcher, good enough to win a Cy Young Award two years ago. But when he gets a look at the Yankees’ pinstripes or their distinctive traveling grays, he morphs into Pedro Martinez or Sandy Koufax — or Cy Young himself.

Every team uses technology to gain an advantage, whether slowing down video to study a pitcher’s mechanics, study launch angles or learn pitch sequences to form a better approach at the plate. There are multiple iPads visible in every dugout to give hitters one last look at a pitcher's tendencies before going to bat. It's also technology that drives the data that leads teams to employ defensive shifts. Technology is there to help. It would be organizational malpractice to not use it to the fullest capacity.

MORE: Josh Reddick slams "disrespectful" Yankees fans

So if you have cameras focused on the catcher’s fingers, fine. If you have one focused on a third base coach as he relays signals to batters and runners, great. Think of it as an alternate definition of advanced scouting. The onus is on the opponent to hide its intent. If they’re not hiding it well enough, it’s just another example of sloppy baseball.

Astros fire executive Brandon Taubman

  Astros fire executive Brandon Taubman The Astros on Friday announced they have terminated the employment of assistant general manager Brandon Taubman, who came under fire earlier this weeks for in appropriate comments made in the clubhouse after the team's victory in the American League Championship Series. Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman issued an apology for statements he made after Game 6 of ALCS win over Yankees.

HOUSTON — Stealing signs has been a part of baseball for as long as popcorn and Cracker Jack. On Tuesday night, a report surfaced that the defending World Series champion Houston Astros may have been More: Astros ' Dallas Keuchel, down 2-1 in ALCS , after loss: 'It’s a coin flip from here on out'.

Sign - stealing has been an accepted part of baseball culture for decades, but technological advances have blurred the line between gamesmanship and cheating. Ironically, it was the Red Sox who were fined by the league last season for using an Apple Watch in a sign - stealing scheme.

“They’re really good at picking things up. And on top of that, they play at a really high level," Yankees Game 1 starter Masahiro Tanaka said about the sign stealing, according to the Post. "We tried to make it more complicated. We definitely paid more attention to changing things up and tried to make it harder for them.”

The Yankees won that game, 7-0. Good for them. Baseball's chess-like nature shouldn't be limited to pitching changes and pinch hitters.

Should there be limits? Certainly. For example, teams shouldn’t bug their opponents’ clubhouses. They shouldn’t have hidden cameras away from the field. They shouldn’t employ spies to work for other organizations or hack computers to steal information. But on the field, during a game, in public, with more than 100,000 eyes in the building, there should be no limits, as long as the same opportunities are there for everyone (and they are).

So if a team wants to employ someone to sit in the stands to study the opposition’s signs with a fancy camera and text information to the dugout, that should be fine. If a team wants to put secret codes on a scoreboard, go for it. If a team want to give its batters earpieces to tell them which pitch is coming, why not? OK, maybe that last one is a bit extreme, but I’d posit that it’s still not out of bounds.

Report: Brandon Taubman, Astros could face discipline from MLB

  Report: Brandon Taubman, Astros could face discipline from MLB The Houston Astros fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman over his verbal attack on reporters, but neither side may be finished with discipline. © Ray Carlin-USA TODAY SportsAccording to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball’s investigation into Taubman and the Astros is continuing, and it may result in further consequences. Taubman is facing a suspension if he ever gets another job in baseball, while the Astros may receive a fine over some combination of Taubman’s behavior and their initial public statement about the reporter who broke the story.

The Astros , after being investigated for alleged sign - stealing during the ALCS , were cleared of any violations by MLB, which considered "the matter closed" I'm not going to bury that suspicion on our organization," he said. Dombrowski later added, "Don't forget, they were the ones that created a false

HOUSTON — At the crack of the bat, Jose Altuve bounded away from first, tracking Carlos Correa’s one-out liner into the right-center-field gap in the bottom of the ninth inning. After a few steps, Altuve’s legs were churning and as he sharply rounded second base

Technology is everywhere in the game. It’s not going away, and it’s only going to become more prevalent. This is just a natural step in the evolutionary process of finding every edge and taking every advantage.

By the way, every team tries to steal signs. This has always been the case. It’s silly to think otherwise. And most of them are probably using technology to do it. Some are just better than others. The Astros appear to be the best. But Houston is already the best at nearly everything else, so why should this be different?

Related slideshow: Best of the 2019 MLB postseason (Provided by imagn)

a crowd of people watching a football game: Fireworks go off as the Washington Nationals celebrate their win over the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the 2019 NLCS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park on October 15, 2019.

Cole pitches Astros to 3-2 Series lead over Nats .
The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series. © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters The Astros' starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the sixth inning against the Nationals in game five of the World Series on Oct. 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. Cole looked exactly like the stud who dominated baseball most of this season, bouncing back from a Game 1 clunker to pitch the Astros to a 7-1 win Sunday night and a 3-2 lead.BOX SCORE: ASTROS 7, NATIONALS 1Minus ailing ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were no match in this Washington wipeout.

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