Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
The Ethics of Baseball

The Ethics of Baseball

Under the rules of baseball it is completely ethical to steal a catcher’s signs. Once a batter reaches second base, therefore, teams generally change their signs and make them much more complicated. It is also legal for people who lip read to listen in. For that reason when there is a conference on the mound players and coaches hold gloves or hands in front of their faces. Teams have also been known to place an employee with binoculars out in the bleachers and relay signs. The Yankees were one of the teams who used that method a few years back. Relay was sometimes via a light on the scoreboard. Three years ago, according to pitcher Mike Fiers who was at that time on the Astros, Houston personnel decided to go one step beyond and place a camera in the centerfield stands focused on the catcher and relay the results to a monitor behind the dugout. They then beat on a trash can when an off speed pitch was going to be thrown. Because electronic means were employed, the league and media are now calling the Astros players and coaches “cheaters”. They broke an unwritten rule. We don’t know if the Astros employed that method after 2017, but word got around the league and teams have employed more difficult sign sequences against the Astros and changed them up more often. Critics have been quick to point out that Astros hitters generally have a much higher batting average at home than on the road. It is true, however, that other teams also experience better hitting numbers at home. That is due to several factors including loss of sleep when on the road (spending nights flying from city to city). Home teams also have an advantage because they design the park to enhance their team. If, for example, their infielders aren’t particularly fleet of foot the grounds keeper cuts the infield grass a little higher and waters the field down extra long before games to slow down grounds balls. If a club contains a number of power hitters, the outfield fences might be brought in just a little bit or made lower. Trades are then made to further enhance the efforts of that configuration. Teams with home stadiums high above sea level pick players with that in mind since pitches don’t curve as much at high altitudes and fly balls travel further. There is no such thing as ...

PLEASE LOG IN FOR PREMIUM CONTENT. Our website requires visitors to log in to view the best local news. Not yet a subscriber? Subscribe today!

Advance Publishing Company

217 W. Park Avenue
Pharr, TX 78577