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Padres Stealing Signs at PetCo? Nah, Just a Security Guard with Binoculars in Wrong Place at Wrong Time (Video)
There was a minor scandal at PetCo Park in San Diego on Sunday. In the bottom of the 9th, with the visiting Cardinals up by three, runners on first and third with two outs, and the trying run at the plate, it appeared as though Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina spotted a spy possibly stealing signs in the center field batter’s eye.
After Padres third baseman Brett Wallace fouled off a 1-2 pitch, Molina stood up and pointed to center field. Then the umpire pointed to center field. Then the broadcast cut to a guy in a white shirt with binoculars around his neck standing next to a camera. When the camera operator told him what was going on, the guy in the white polo got the hell out of there.
Take a look:
So were the Padres stealing signs? Nah. Turns out the security office at Petco Park is right next to the batter’s eye camera well, and security staff will often pop out during a game to check on things with binoculars. It just doesn’t usually happen when the home team is at the plate with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth.
In this case, Padres manager Andy Green explained that he was actually the one who pointed the security guard out to home plate umpire Sean Barber. Look again at the video above and you’ll see the umpire and Yadier Molina turn their heads toward the Padres dugout at the 0:07 mark. It’s only then that Molina points to center field. So obviously the Padres weren’t trying to cheat.
Of course, if the Padres were trying to cheat it would be hard to hold it against them. Poor bastards are just 7-13 and already five games out heading into the last week of April. Ouch.