Following accusations of sign-stealing during this year’s postseason, one former Houston Astros pitcher has reportedly had enough and is crying foul on his former club. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich — Mike Fiers and three other individuals who worked for the team in 2017 stated the team developed a system for home games that was helped by a television camera set up in the outfield.
Fiers accuses the team of of devising a system in 2017 to steal signals from opposing teams and would relay that message by banging on a trash can.
“That’s not playing the game the right way,” said Fiers. “They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win.”
“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said. “Young guys getting hit around in the first couple of innings starting a game, and then they get sent down. It’s (B.S.) on that end. It’s ruining jobs for younger guys. The guys who know are more prepared. But most people don’t. That’s why I told my team.”
The system allegedly began in 2017 where it involved “at least two uniformed Astros” players who got together to plan out how to do it.
An Astros source told Rosenthal and Drellich the set-up “required technical video knowledge and required the direct aid of at least some on the baseball operations staff.”
“To this point, the public’s understanding of sign stealing mostly rests on anonymous second-hand conjecture and finger-pointing. But inside the game, there is a belief which is treated by players and staff as fact: That illegal sign stealing, particularly through advanced technology, is everywhere.
“It’s an issue that permeates through the whole league,” one major league manager said. “The league has done a very poor job of policing or discouraging it.”
Electronic sign stealing is not a single-team issue. Major League Baseball rules prohibit clubs from using electronic equipment to steal catchers’ signs and convey information. Still, the commissioner’s office hears complaints about many different organizations — everything from mysterious people in white shirts sending signals from center field to elaborate systems involving television cameras and tablets. …”
LBS explains even more about the system:
“…a feed from the camera in the outfield was linked to a television that was positioned on a wall in the tunnel that runs between the home dugout and the clubhouse at Minute Maid Park. Team employees and players would watch the monitor from massage tables across a wide hallway to see if they could decode their opponent’s signals, and the expected pitch would be relayed using a loud noise if they became confident they had stolen the signs. To do this, a player or staffer would bang on a trash can before a breaking ball or off-speed pitch was supposed to come.
Two of The Athletic’s sources said the Astros stopped using the tactics prior to the postseason in 2017, while another claimed he could vividly recall hearing the sound of a banging trash can before a Houston home run during the playoffs. The same source doubted whether players were able to hear the noise due to the loud environment inside the ballpark.”
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