If signs are so easy to figure out, why don’t the offended parties change them and get on with it? The Seattle Times’ Bob Finnegan reports :
(Piper – not involved)
With Rowdy Roddy Piper in the house, it appeared for a moment in the fourth inning that Ryan Franklin was going to start grappling with Orlando Hudson behind the mound.
The near-altercation was not part of the World Wrestling Enterprise promotion, but the result of Franklin and catcher Miguel Olivo accusing the Blue Jays of stealing signs with a runner at second base.
Whether it was felonious or simply fine hitting, Piper was about the only man in a Blue Jays jersey who did not slap Seattle pitching around Rogers Centre the past two nights.
With 14 more hits and three more homers in the midst of battering Franklin for eight runs en route to a 9-4 win last night, Toronto has 30 hits and five homers for 21 runs ” 14 with two outs.
Franklin and Olivo declined to talk about the incident.
“That’s just the game,” Olivo said.
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said the two, who had enough caucuses on the mound to qualify as a political party, “thought Toronto was stealing pitches or locations from second base.”
Hargrove declined to speculate on the matter.
“That’s a road I don’t want to go down,” he said. “You can’t actually sit there and prove they were stealing signs.”
However, beyond the suspicion and accusations, the numbers seem to offer circumstantial evidence. Toronto was 11 for 23 in the two games when they had runners on second base.
With veteran Pat Borders expected to catch Joel Pineiro in today’s series finale, Seattle is expected to change things when the Blue Jays put a runner on second. One notorious way of crossing up an opponent is to throw an inside fastball whenever the sign calls for a fastball away.
“That sort of thing happens,” Borders said of stealing signs. “If I can’t figure out a way to prevent it, I’m not doing my job. For one thing, I set up just as late as I can so the other team has as short a time as possible to get location.”