MLB makes 3 proposals regarding sign stealing

A.J. and Matt discuss MLB's sign-stealing proposals from the MLB.

On Saturday, the MLB proposed new measures to prevent sign stealing by extending the use of an experimental technology currently being tested in Spring Training and imposing restrictions on sharing scouting information during games. Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic broke down the basics via Twitter:

  • Batters would be prohibited from reviewing Scouting Information during at-bats, such as on cards placed in helmets.
  • No team personnel may print Scouting Information to distribute to coaches or players after first pitch.
  • Pitchers and catchers would be permitted to use wireless PitchCom devices on a voluntary basis during the regular season.

Regarding PitchCom

Ideally, PitchCom is a way of addressing sign-stealing by simply removing signs altogether.  The system also theoretically speeds up play by removing the need for some mound visits.  Early reviews have varied from individual to individual, and it remains to be seen how many players (or the MLBPA as a whole) would be open to continuing the PitchCom tech during the season.  The voluntary nature of the usage could be an obstacle, as a competitive advantage could be gained by some teams.

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Source: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/03/league-makes-proposals-to-mlbpa-about-sign-stealing-on-field-information.html

A.J Reilly: According to MLB trade rumors, it's a technology called Pitchcom. That's being tested during spring training games. And the league is now offering that players can continue to use the system on a voluntary basis during the regular season. Basically, just an electronic wristband, that different pitches on it.

The catcher taps that 1-2 seam right. And then in the pitcher's earpiece, it says two-seam. That's just a very basic baseline level of it. But you want to cut down on pitch stealing or sign stealing. This is how you do it. This is how you do it. And if it's working, great, some pitchers may not like that.

Some catchers may not like that. That's why I'm appreciative that they're at least doing it on a voluntary basis.

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Matt Bassin: I think you should have, you got one of your pieces in, and you've got a one-way clicker that looks a lot like the umpire's tool for, counting balls and strikes, but it's got four buttons on it.

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It's got a fastball button, a curveball button, a slider button, a sinker button, whatever. And you hit the button that you want. And it beeps a number of times, according to that number on your little clicker. And it goes back and forth that way. And that's cause if you're sitting there talking someone's going to hear, someone's going to read lips something.

A.J Reilly: Yeah, that's the report from MLB trade rumors says it's a specialized wristband. So I don't think the catcher's holding a clicker. And I think it's on an actual wristband and I don't know, I haven't seen it. Like I haven't picked up on it on any of the spring training games that I've watched.

But who knows? Could be a good evolution. I don't have any problem with it. I love stealing signs, the old-fashioned way personally, I don't need a camera in center field. I want to watch a sequence and I want to see, if the coach and the dugout are given some kind of indicator and then follow that sequence and be able to build that, to help my team gain some kind of advantage.

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I would love to see the old-school stuff stay in, but if this is what it is, I think it's good. It could be good for the game.

Matt Bassin: I just love that baseball has had a well-known cheating scandal for the history of baseball, but they were able to just sweep it under the rug and just call it gamesmanship this entire time.

A.J Reilly: It is though, it is gamesmanship. You're always looking to gain an advantage in any sport that you've.

Matt Bassin: You got teammates or the opposing teams huddle and listening to see what plays coming.

A.J Reilly: But listen, the same thing happens in football. I scouted plenty of Texas high school football teams and my sole job because I was a baseball guy, was to sit in the press box and steal their signs.

So I would figure out who the offensive coordinator was. And I would write down the sign that he gave. And then I would write down the play that he did. You're always looking at, listen, if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying, but at the same time

Matt Bassin: to a certain extent,

A.J Reilly: right? I know. But two, but there is, and I go back to what you just said.

There is a certain extent.


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