The Thing About Sign Stealing

“I don’t suppose that it is strictly sportsmanlike, but baseball is a strenuous game, and there are times when a man may feel sorely tempted.” – Detroit Tigers Manager Bill Armour, 1906

“Dishonest signal stealing might be defined as obtaining information by artificial aids. The honest methods are those requiring cleverness of eye, mind, and hand, without outside assistance.” – Hall of Fame Pitcher Christy Mathewson, 1912

Steal a base and you’re a star, steal a sign and you’re a cheater.

Explain that to me.

In August, the New York Yankees snitched on the Boston Red Sox who were stealing signs, using Apple watches to signal the Yankees catcher’s signs to the Red Sox dugout.


Here’s what I don’t get.

A Red Sox staffer, watching the game on video in the clubhouse, decodes a sign from the Yankees catcher, texts it to the Apple watch of a trainer in the dugout, who gives the message to a nearby player, who signals to the Red Sox runner on second, who relays the pitch by some signal or other to the batter.

Like this?

They had time to do all that? Maybe the game really is that slow.

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Black & White Chronicles: Lou


In talking about his art, Lou Reed said:

“You do this because you like it, you think what you’re making is beautiful. And, if you think it’s beautiful, maybe they think it’s beautiful.”

Lou Reed died today. He made beautiful music. Like this


And, this. Oh, and this, too … which is magnificent:

“So, that’s the way, technically, it goes.”

Can I squeeze in some Lou Reed on baseball? Of course, I can. In 1995, he said:

 “[I]if there was probably a childhood trauma that I had other than the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, which, if you think about it, is a reason why some of us are imbued with a cynicism that we never recovered from. Obviously you’re not a Mets fan, and you can’t possibly be a Yankees fan, so baseball’s eliminated from your life because of being born in Brooklyn.”

Interviewer: “You cared about the Dodgers as a kid?”

“Very much. I don’t know why. I don’t like baseball. Of course, maybe I don’t like baseball because the Dodgers aren’t here anymore.”

UPDATE: And, I hope you’ll take just one moment to click here for the warm and loving tribute from Lou’s wife, Laurie Anderson (a wonderful artist, too), that appeared in their local newspaper.