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A brouhaha has erupted in the wake of an ESPN report that seems to implicate the Toronto Blue Jays in using some sort of relay (a now infamous "man in white") to steal signs, which would be in contravention of the rules of baseball. You'll note I say "seems to implicate," because ESPN doesn't have any sort of actual proof that the Jays have stolen signs illegally, more like rumour and conjecture; the article by Amy K. Nelson and Peter Keating is at various points subtitled "The Blue Jays deny they're stealing signs - evidence may lead to another conclusions" and "Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays under suspicion again of stealing signs at Rogers Centre."

The evidence offered essentially breaks down to anonymous player reports (seemingly from a single bullpen), statistical cherrypicking, and the extreme unusualness of the Jay's 2010 offensive season. None of these on their own are convincing, but according to ESPN when put together they mean that "every pitch to a Blue Jay in Toronto is worth watching" which is of course meaningless pablum, but which again seems intended to implicate that the Jays are doing something illegal or unethical.

So are the Blue Jays stealing signs illegally? I have no honest idea. I'm sure they are relaying pitch location from second base with runners on; plenty of teams do that, and the Jays seems to be at the forefront of that. I'm willing to acknowledge that it's within the realm of possibility that the Jays are even going farther than that - not especially likely, but not completely improbably either. Mostly though, I think it's unfortunate that ESPN decided to run with what seems like at best a highly circumstantial set of allegations that are not backed up by it's own reporting. Let's review.


The article breaks down into essentially four areas.

1. Four players on a visiting team saw a man in white who they believed was signalling whether pitches were going to be fastballs or offspeed pitches from the outfield bleachers. Subsequently, the Yankees and the Red Sox began using multiple signs with no one on base against the Jays, the most logical reason for which would be a concern for stealing signs. However, no official complaints have been lodged against the Jays.

2. The Jays hit a lot of home runs in 2010, a lot of which were at home, and they had the highest isolated power (slg - avg) since 1954.

3. Several Jays had strong home/road splits in 2010.

4. The Rogers Centre played like a massive home run park in 2010, but only for the Blue Jays and not for road teams.

Point 1 is the most convincing, but ultimately breaks down into one incident viewed by one bullpen (probably the White Sox) as well as conjecture.

Points 2 and 4 are slightly ridiculous in trying to prove the Jays steal signs. First and foremost, it's not clear what the rationale for using home run hitting as a proxy for overall hitting ability is. They clearly aren't the same thing. That the Jays got a home run boost that their opponents did not receive in 2010 is certainly interesting and worthy of additional study, but it's not clear how it relates to sign stealing. The author of the study (not included in the ESPN report) on how the Rogers Centre played, Baseball Prospectus' Colin Wyers, was not specifically examining sign stealing. I'm sure his information is correct, but it doesn't "prove" anything regarding sign stealing.

Looking at the numbers more thoroughly,  problems emerge. The Jays had a .274 average on balls in play on the road in 2010, and hit 11.6% of their fly balls for home runs, a total of 107. The first two numbers are the worst and best in the Majors, respectively, and the 107 home runs put them a close second best to the Red Sox (113), with whom they lapped the field (the Twins were third with 90.)  At home they led the league with 150 home runs (the Yankees were second at 115) and HR/FB% (15.5) and were dead last in average on balls in play, by a wide margin - .265, with second worst being .281. The team's wOBA at home was .346, 7th best in baseball. On the road it was... .321, t-7th best in baseball. If you're curious, the home average was .329 and the road average .312. So at home the Jays were 5.16% better than average, and on the road they were... 2.88% better than average. I can't imagine that is particularly statistically significant. The Yankees were 11% better than average at home and 5% better at home, for what it's worth. So basically the Jays hit slightly better at home than on the road, but ESPN chose to present an incomplete picture of the information that made the difference seem larger... unless anyone can tell me how stealing signs would only help hitting home runs.

The best part of the article is point 3, which lists five Blue Jays with good home-road splits (one was Yunel Escobar, with his 266 PA, real sample size appropriate to be splitting in half there guys) Two things. One, almost all players hit better at home than on the road, about 5.5% better last year, by wOBA.  Two, given that we've just shown that relatively speaking, the Jays hit about as well as they did at home in 2010 as they did on the road, these numbers offer almost no additional meaning or clarity. If anything they confuse the issue.

Also apropos of nothing, Jays who hit better on the road in 2010 (numbers from BR)

Edwin Encarnacion at home .667 OPS and 7 home runs, on the road .887 and 14 home runs.
John Buck at home .772 OPS 10 home runs, road .829, 10 home runs.
Fred Lewis .730 v. .761 (4 home runs each)

To conclude, are the Jays stealing signs? Possibly, if not probably. They certainly seem to be good at relaying signs from second base, which is perfectly legal, whatever the morals. Are the Jays using a party outside the field to steal signs and relay them to hitters. Maybe. Maybe not. I would describe it as essentially unknown at this point, because the ESPN article does absolutely nothing other than to provide the uncorroborated statements of four relievers from the same team, in reference to one (maybe two incidents.) Surely if this was widespread, they could do better than that? What's most troubling is that, the statistical evidence used to back up the claim is for the most part irrelevant.

The article concludes thusly: "By themselves, these numbers are circumstantial evidence. Unsupported by data, the four players' accounts might describe a scheme of uncertain impact. And without proper context, the Yankees' decision to mask their signs could be chalked up to paranoia. But together, the numbers, the stories and the actions indicate one certainty: Every pitch to a Blue Jay in Toronto is worth watching."

Not to be unduly harsh, but that basically reads like a first year university essay - here's a bunch of stuff I said, it might be true or relevant but it's not both, and in conclusion, this may or may not be the case. Given the importance (relative, not absolute) it seems like it would have been worthwhile for ESPN to nail things down a little better..


Sign Stealing and the Toronto Blue Jays | 40 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Ron - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#240636) #

If youre going to make a serious accusation such as a team cheating, at least have the balls to allow your name to be attached to the story.


lexomatic - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#240639) #
I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure there would be plenty of legal grounds for a slander suit, which is kinda death to a writer's career, no? I think whoever gave the greenlight to this is an idiot, because it really can't be verified, and it damages the reputation of the team.
Beyonder - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#240641) #
Case is stronger than the coverage and comments would indicate. For one, players don't complain to the media, even anonymously, unless they genuinely believe something wrong has been done. They may be mistaken, but it is unlikely that the whole thing has been made up.

Second, the article points out that the jays in 2010 were only a slightly better than average home run hitting team compared to the rest of the AL. At home, they were orders of magnitude better power hitters than the visiting team at Rogers centre. So adjusting for "park factors", the jays enjoyed a home field advantage that ranked 3rd of any advantage experienced by any team in the last 60 years.

Third, Rogers centre was not a a home run hitting park at all from 2005 to 2009. In 2010 it magically became a home run hitter's paradise.

I agree with Anders that the tips should have affected all hitting positively, not just homers. And this doesn't appear to be the case. I also have a hard time beleiving we wouldnt have noticed this jackass standing up every two pitches, and am suspicious that theres no video. Regardless, the article isn't frivolous and deserves to be taken more seriously than it has been.
CeeBee - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#240645) #
Are you really serious about taking it more seriously? I'd use it for a$$wipe if I actually had the article but then hey, I grew up in the dark ages.
acepinball - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#240647) #

Very poor journalism.  Tries to use the Jay's low BABIP and high home run totals as proof that something is fishy in the numbers.  Fails to include that home runs don't count for BABIP and actually is behaving normally.  The article in itself is full of half truths.  Having a team and coaching staff with a clear focus on hitting your pitch on the nose and pulling it leads to home runs.  Telling Johnny Mac where the pitch is going isn't going to mysteriously inflate his totals for one year.  It's the 'Cito effect'.

One thing the article DID articulate was a massive lack of respect for Bautista from the ChiSox.  Threatening to hit a star player in the head in the midst of one of the best home run seasons ever should be answered.  I'd certainly entertain sliding spikes up on Ramirez.

I do hope that 'the man in white' becomes a folk hero and that Jays fans start to line the outfields in white.

Beyonder - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#240648) #
Poor journalism? Maybe. It's espn, after all, not the new York times. It's not like she had no sources though. Girardi stepped up and put his money where his mouth was. And four separate anonymous sources corroborate it. Anonymous or not, these allegations don't come out of thin air, especially with a story like this, and especially not about a non contending team like the Jays. What motive could they possibly have?

And yes, having a clear focus on hitting pitches on the nose and pulling them is of course a recipe for hitting homers. But it's a recipe that should work on the road almost as well as at home. It shouldn't work seven times as well at home, which is what the article reports. And if it's got to do with a park factor, that factor should help the visitors as well as the home team. It didnt, at least not in 2010.

Again, I'm not convinced by any means, but the case shouldn't be dismissed out of turn.
electric carrot - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#240650) #
I don't know how I feel about ESPN publishing this.  It seems to me they may have had enough evidence to believe that potentially credible accusations are being made from multiple sources. The article itself though really needs a little more integrity -- surely there is more of an argument against the claims than was provided (that's been provided instead by Batter's Box.)  It seems like the reporter felt a need to go to bat for the White Sox players rather than think critically about the issue. 

Follow up article in the Boston Globe is better.  Guiilen's final remark about dumb catchers is by itself enough reward for reading the entire piece.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2011/08/10/blue_jays_respond_to_allegations_of_sign_stealing/?p1=Well_Sports_links

Andrew - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#240653) #
I love how the in-game footage in the ESPN video features Arencibia looking fastball but getting breaking ball, and striking out.
TamRa - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#240654) #
Second, the article points out that the jays in 2010 were only a slightly better than average home run hitting team compared to the rest of the AL. At home, they were orders of magnitude better power hitters than the visiting team at Rogers centre. So adjusting for "park factors", the jays enjoyed a home field advantage that ranked 3rd of any advantage experienced by any team in the last 60 years.

Counterpoint:

http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/article/stealing_signs_in_toronto/

Other things of note:

the article - according to Kieth law - had lain mostly dormant at ESPN since last September (note in the article some references to September 2010) and the game in question pretty much has to be the April 13 game - when Bautista was hitting under .150 and had hit all of ONE homer to that point in the season.

Also, the article mentions someone there having seen something similar in 2009 - but the only CWS games at Toronto in 2009 was before Bautista's big September (and it's unlikely that, on April 13 2010, anyone was much aware of Bautista's September outside Toronto)

There's a lot of other circumstantial evidence that the allegation is nonsense - far more so than the evidence that there was actual cheating going on - but I'm too lazy to compile all of it.


TamRa - Wednesday, August 10 2011 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#240657) #
I like how Cathal Kelly opens this article by giving the story the respect it deserves:

http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/article/1037627--kelly-espn-just-did-baseball-in-toronto-a-huge-favour?bn=1#.TkMBSJ4JcaA.twitter



eungar - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:54 AM EDT (#240680) #
@beyonder.....
"But it's a recipe that should work on the road almost as well as at home. It shouldn't work seven times as well at home, which is what the article reports"
as anders points out, the jays hit 107 on the road and 150 at home. my math sucks but that doesnt equal 7x more! thats why the article is so not worth reading into. the reporter clearly just threw some facts out there based on what the "almighty" Joe Girardi said. this is a typical case of a new york person saying something and just because someone from new york said it, it gets blown way out of proportion! i live in new york but i am from toronto and i listen to the radio enough to know when things like this happen it mostly ends in nothing because it was nothing to begin with. but since the new york media is on every scrap of "newsworthy" item like white on rice this is the result. CRAP JOURNALISM
Anders - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 03:04 AM EDT (#240682) #
A few thoughts:

And four separate anonymous sources corroborate it. Anonymous or not, these allegations don't come out of thin air, especially with a story like this, and especially not about a non contending team like the Jays. What motive could they possibly have?


In fact all 4 sources are from the same team and the same bullpen, the White Sox. I don't know how separate that makes it. It seems unlikely that they would make this up out of thin air, but it doesn't necessarily mean the Jays were relaying signs.

Third, Rogers centre was not a a home run hitting park at all from 2005 to 2009. In 2010 it magically became a home run hitter's paradise.

As noted, Skydome apparently played better as a hitters park for the Jays in 2005-2008.

Lastly, apparently the underlying reporting for this article has existed since the end of last season (and the on-field antics reference only last year.) I find it hard to believe that if ESPN had made a solid effort, they couldn't have found a player on another team, or an anonymous ex-Jay who would have further corroborated the story, either about seeing someone relay signs or about how the team stole signs. It's really not that difficult.

Again, I don't think what ESPN is reporting is completely and de facto absurd, but they don't even come remotely close to proving what they in effect allege, and they are bordering on intellectual dishonesty in the set of facts they choose to present in service of their argument.
chocolatethunder - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#240693) #
I am shocked that Blair and Klaw seem so apathetic to this story......they should be blasting this out of the water....my biggest problem is that there are using home/ away splits to statistically back up the story which is ridiculous...does this change anyone else's view about Blair and Klaw??
ayjackson - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#240699) #
Keith Law mentioned he first heard the story last September.  If that's the case, it's possible that Jussell and Girardi knew of the rumour too and it influenced their comments from earlier this year after being blown out by the Jays.
Beyonder - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#240712) #

"does this change anyone else's view about Blair and Klaw??"

It tells me that they're fair, disinterested, and unbiased, unlike the vast majority of posters on this topic.  When generally thoughtful people like Blair and KLaw think the story has credibility, maybe it's time to give it a better look, rather than question their credibility?   

Interesting quote from Jason Frasor in Chicago, who says that while he knows nothing about it, doesn't say it it impossible: 

 If there is, they have done an incredible job of keeping it a secret because it was not talked about, Frasor said. I saw the headline and saw the report on TV and I dont know anything about it honestly. Unless its a few guys and they have a tight circle I dont know.

The "tight circle" point answers most of AA's objections at the press conference yesterday.


Anyway, I would have hoped he would say: "no way anyone on the Jays would do that".  Instead he ruminates on how it might have happened.  Of course, he's in a bit of a tight bind, since he's now playing for the team that made the accusations, but the comment is still interesting.

Guaranteed we have not heard the last of this story. 

Mike Green - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#240716) #
Incidentally, the scout in the centerfield seats stealing signs has been done before.  In the movie "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg", one of his sons describes the practice as "not kosher".  There are stories that Greenberg felt that having the signs helped his batting average!
chocolatethunder - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#240726) #

It tells me that they're fair, disinterested, and unbiased, unlike the vast majority of posters on this topic.  When generally thoughtful people like Blair and KLaw think the story has credibility, maybe it's time to give it a better look, rather than question their credibility?   

 

Beyonder....did you read that article???........it was fully of hearsay, unnamed sources, and based on home away splits that indicated nothing!!....my problem with Blair and Klaw is that they are putting up a united front for their colleague, instead of criticizing the many errors.....

Thomas - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#240730) #

Of course, he's in a bit of a tight bind, since he's now playing for the team that made the accusations, but the comment is still interesting.

I thought it was a strong reply from Frasor and was only limited by precisely that factor. I don't think he wants to call some relief pitchers on the White Sox (some of whom may still be his teamates) liars, but instead he says that he's heard not a peep about it. That's about as strong as you could have hoped for and can't be dismissed, given the length of time he's been there and his friendship with some players on the team.

Paul D - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#240732) #

I don't thinkt hat the Jays are cheating, but I do think poeple here are being too dimissive.  The stats in the article come from a good source, and they are strange.  Again, I think that's just coincidence, but to imply the Blair and Law are bad journalists or something is just sour grapes.

TamRa - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#240734) #
the stats are also cherry-picked from among a great deal of statistical evidince to the contrary. for instance, the same stat would show both NY and Texas are cheating at home this year.


James W - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#240736) #
I don't thinkt hat the Jays are cheating

Considering there are no rules against stealing signs, I'd say the Jays are definitely not cheating in this matter.

Beyonder - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#240738) #

As I've said, I would have thought that knowing whether the pitch was a fastball or off-speed would show up in all hit categories -- not just homers.  I'm assuming that you don't see that sort of improvement, or it would be in the article.  So there may be some cherry picking there.   I'm hoping there is a full version of the story coming out so we can check up on some of the numbers a bit more. 

The study that keeps getting posted by everyone by Tom Tango though, uses OPS, which includes walks.  Its not obvious to me that knowing (very) roughly the speed of the pitch that's coming your way will assist in improving walk totals.  If anything, players may swing more freely if they know they can sit on a fastball or breaking pitch.  This would increase strikeouts and reduce walks.  The OPS study may not be the game changer people think it is. 

Again, it is not just the stat that points to the tips.  It is the anecdotal stuff as well.  Not just Girardi or the anonymous white sox, but also the fact that teams around the league are throwing up multiple sets of signs when there is nobody on base.  This tells me that other teams have an honest belief (not stupid people, or people prone to conspiracy theories about the 4th place blue jays) that tipping is going on by a non-player. 

A point (I think) someone else made on the Tango board is that this is not some guy noticing the statistical discrepancy and then looking for a conspiracy theory to support it.  This is a series of allegations of cheating, that when looked into, are supported by at least some of the statistical evidence.  Big difference. 

uglyone - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#240739) #
the stats are garbage.

2011

Blue Jays: .772ops @ TOR, .701ops @ OPP = +.071 @ TOR
Opponents: .761ops @ TOR, .712ops @ OPP = +.059 @ TOR

negligible, statsitically insignificant difference.
BalzacChieftain - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#240740) #
As far as the comment on walk rates decreasing if a batter knows what pitch is coming, I would tend to disagree. If a hitter already knows if a fastball or an off-speed pitch is on the way, they no longer have to make that split-second decision discerning what type of pitch it is. All the hitter needs to do is determine location, rather than the ball's rotation, etc., which takes away one of the variables. Furthermore, the batter can time his stride more accurately and be in sync with the time when the ball reaches the hitting zone.
Beyonder - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#240741) #

Keith Law, earlier today:

Stephen (Palo Alto)


Are you at all buying the story on the Jays yesterday?

Klaw   (1:18 PM)


In general, yes. I'd like more information, certainly, but I also know more of the background info than appeared in the article, too. And let me say now in the third different forum that the personal attacks on Amy Nelson, especially those that incorporate her gender, are immature, cowardly, and disgusting. Grow up already, people.

Beyonder - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#240742) #
As far as the comment on walk rates decreasing if a batter knows what pitch is coming, I would tend to disagree. If a hitter already knows if a fastball or an off-speed pitch is on the way, they no longer have to make that split-second decision discerning what type of pitch it is. All the hitter needs to do is determine location, rather than the ball's rotation, etc., which takes away one of the variables. Furthermore, the batter can time his stride more accurately and be in sync with the time when the ball reaches the hitting zone.     All of which also leads to a greater volume of accurate swings, and a greater volume of swings altogether.    Maybe these factors cut both ways, but it strikes me that there is a good argument that at the very least walks are a confounding variable in that analysis.  You shouldn't see an increase in walks the same way you should see an increase in power numbers.
uglyone - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#240744) #
why all the secrecy, keith? (you dorky fraud of a nonscout)

if there's information that actually, you know, SUBSTANTIATES the claims, then why not spill it?
BalzacChieftain - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#240745) #
Fair enough that power would have a greater proprtionate increase than walk rate, but as a whole, I don't think that as a rule one should make the assumption that simply knowing what is coming makes a batter more likely to swing the bat. I, for one, simply think that it would clear the batter's head and allow him to wait for a perfect pitch to hit in a location where he was looking.
uglyone - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#240746) #
2011

Red Sox: .855ops @ BOS, .761ops @ OPP = +.094ops @ BOS
Opponent: .728ops @ BOS, .667ops @ OPP = +.061ops @ BOS

Clearly, the Red Sox are cheating.
Kasi - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#240747) #
Keith Law's posts really are just covering his ass. He has to toe the company line here. The big point is that every game is televised from multiple angles. It is very very easy to prove or disprove this. That no one has come out on the proving side has led me to think this is a bunch of hot air.

Also would be easy to do a line of sight from right handed batters box to where the man in white would be and see if it goes right through the pitcher.
James W - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#240748) #
why all the secrecy, keith? (you dorky fraud of a nonscout)

if there's information that actually, you know, SUBSTANTIATES the claims, then why not spill it?

Keith Law explained it well enough on McCown's show yesterday, but it's not up to him to reveal Nelson's sources. It's up to Nelson to rat them out, not Law.

Kasi - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#240750) #
Considering what I've read of writers and being suspended there (from Neyer and Simmons among others) it makes perfect sense for Law to toe the line.
Paul D - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#240755) #

uglyone, you're now the one cherry picking.  Beyonder's already explained why OPS might not be a good stat to use.

Again, I'm not saying that they're cheating (and if the man in white was using electronic equipment to help him out they were definitely cheating) only that the article and the stats behind it are not as absurd as you think.

If you want a neutral perspective go to primer.  There were two threads there yesterday on the subject, and some of the posters dig into the numbers a little deeper.

Kasi - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#240757) #
All games are televised from multiple angles. We don't need to decipher the numbers. The problem with going off numbers is that outliers happen. Players hit 45+ home runs who never hit 20 before. (Murphy amongst others) Players have career years and then go on to just be mediocre. Baseball is a game of outliers.

What we need is someone with footage of the games (and that probably means all filmed footage, not just the TV angles since they only show one at a time) to go over it.
uglyone - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#240762) #
2011

Blue Jays: .262avg @ TOR, .249avg @ OPP = +.013avg @ TOR
Opponents: .267avg @ TOR, .248avg @ OPP = +.019avg @ TOR

Blue Jays: .182isop @ TOR, .140isop @ OPP = +.042isop @ TOR
Opponents: .162isop @ TOR, .140isop @ OPP = +.022isop @ TOR

Blue Jays: .066isobp @ TOR, .063isobp @ OPP = +.003isobp @ TOR
Opponents: .065isobp @ TOR, .076isobp @ OPP = +.011isobp @ TOR

So the dome apparently boosts the Jays' power more than it does for their opponents, but boosts their opponents AVG and walks by about the same amount. Why would signalling pitches lower the Jays' average?



Red Sox: .304avg @ BOS, .256avg @ OPP = +.048avg @ BOS
Opponent: .260avg @ BOS, .225avg @ OPP = +.025avg @ BOS

Red Sox: .181isop @ BOS, .170isop @ OPP = +.011isop @ BOS
Opponent: .138isop @ BOS, .143isop @ OPP = -.005isop @ BOS

Red Sox: .066isobp @ BOS, .079isobp @ OPP = -.013isobp @ BOS
Opponent: .070isobp @ BOS, .076isobp @ OPP = -.006isobp @ BOS

Fenway hurts their opponents power, but helps the Sox' power. Fenway also boost the Sox' average far more than it does their opponents.

My only conclusion can be that the Sox are stealing signs.

QED.
Kasi - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#240768) #
Uglyone is right. The Red Sox put into account hitters who know how to use that wall well, so it makes sense that it helps them more than others. Jays last year were 75% RH hitters, which likely helped them more than others for hitting home runs to LF.
Alex Obal - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#240784) #
Its not obvious to me that knowing (very) roughly the speed of the pitch that's coming your way will assist in improving walk totals.

Location!! A big-league hitter will never chase a bad fastball when he knows the fastball is coming (and he will have the pitcher's signs). Especially in a three-ball count. Right?
Kasi - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#240787) #
Only if you're not Aaron Hill. (or Vernon Wells)
Alex Obal - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#240788) #
I said b-- nah, too easy.
bball12 - Thursday, August 11 2011 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#240791) #
The story makes no sense. Just media garbage to sell a few papers and get some blog attention.

One thing is absolutely certain - even if the allegations were true - it didn't help very much.

Just silly stuff IMO.



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