Your reaction to stealing signs

This just kind of came to me, but last summer in a game against our rivals, I was pitching with a runner on second base. We changed up our signs for when someone was on the base paths and as I came set, I turned around and noticed that the runner on second was swiping his chest to the batter. I stepped off and walked about 10 steps towards him and just stared him down. I didnt really know what to do because I was so pissed off about him doing it, but what would you guys have done in this instance?

I would dot the batter in the back. This is bush league.

As pitchers, signs need to be changed on a regular basis. Sign after the two usually is pretty decent. Worse than stealing signs is stealing location. I can’t stand this.

People have been stealing signs for years.

I think it’s worse to be so lazy that you can’t thru a series of signs. Change them up every inning.

If it bothers you so much hit the guy in the ribs. It works both ways though. They have to throw down signals also.

Changing up the signs isnt the problem at all, its the fact that i believe its bush league to be stealing them in the first place.

Buzz the batter, dont hit him, just buzz his face. Than, if he continues to do it, drill him in the knee. He’ll think twice about stealing signs when he cant walk normally for a few days.

Your absolutely right, it is Bush League. And if you think about it, its kinda pathetic that they feel they are such weak hitters they need to know whats coming

Stealing signs is a part of the game just like anything else. If a team is goin to be lazy and let you have them, why not steal them. The trick is to not let the other team know that you have them. If they are making it obvious that they have them, that is when you let them know it is a no-no.

I played against a team 2 years ago that if they got a runner on second base, the runner would signal to the batter where the pitch was to be by waving his arms around above his head to the side of the plate where I was throwing. That really ticked me off, but my coach said not to worry about it because I was still shutting them out. So i let it go. Then in the 6th inning the runner started to not only wave to the side where the pitch was, but he would start literally yelling the freaking pitch type! (i have no idea how he saw the signs from that far away either). And that was just too much. So I stepped off the mound and called the infielders in for a meeting and set up a way to stop that stuff. So on the next pitch, the runner started up again, and I did my fastest pick-off move to second and fired it right at his gut and nailed him (he went down hard). The other team went nuts and the umpire walks to the mound looking all angry and then smiles at me and says “great shot, but dont do it again”. I couldn’t believe it, I was sure I was gonna get tossed.

I waited so long to tell that story :slight_smile:

Hmmmm if I were to have great control of my pitches that day, anything that the catcher calls I’ll just throw a different pitch. So not only will the batter not know what’s coming, but neither will the catcher. A little risky but all I can do is try not to throw it away.

if you can steal the signs, you steal them. we got them in the final game of the national tournament last year and it was probably the difference. they figured us out by the 3rd inning so we actually relayed them to the dugout and the dugout called them.

to keep a guy from second getting them you have to have a series or something different. one of the easiest ways to fix them is go to glove signs. glove off the knww is fastball, and glove off the knee is off-speed. as for location, have your catcher stay put. if you move way outside early they will relay this. if you move inside it is always a fastball. use the catcher’s knees as targets. that is the best way.

if they do get them and keep doing it after a warning and it’s obvious then you drill the guy at second on a well backed up pick off play. but if the team is really good, you’ll never know they are stealing them.

i’ve heard of teams using cell phones to relay to the dugout, that’s when it’s getting bad.

One game this season won of our players on the bench picked up the pitches from the opposing coach as he gave them to the catcher. We would then cheer out the first name for a fastball, last name for breaking ball, number for change. I guess its apart of the game to take any advantage you can get?

Our team does the Name - fastball, number - off speed too. A big no-no is letting the other team know you have there signs. Not only will the team change them, one of your team members will probably pay for it as well. I like my players to do something sutle when giving location. On second, they have there hands hanging for outside, both arms up near their chest for middle, and one arm and chest inside. Works pretty well and other team doesnt pick up on it.

It seems to me that stealing signs has been around since the game was invented, and the stories surrounding this particular aspect of baseball are too numerous to count—one could write a whole encyclopedia on the subject. I know a few good tales I could, and will, share with you, including ways of dealing with this problem.
The first concerns Hiram Bithorn, a very good pitcher. When he was pitching for the Chicago Cubs in the early forties he had a batterymate named Hernandez, and since both of them knew Spanish they used to do their signaling aloud in that language. Then one day they were playing against the New York Giants, and suddenly Bithorn was getting roughed up. After several minutes Bithorn happened to look over at third base, and suddenly he realized what was happening—the Giants had a third-base coach named Dolf Luque, and the guy was Cuban, and being Cuban he was very, very conversant with Spanish. And he was picking up what Hernandez was saying and relaying the information to the hitters.
So Bithorn and Hernandez had to go back to the use of finger signals.
The second such tale is a bit more high-tech. Jim Brosnan, in his book “Pennant Race”, tells of the times when the Cincinnati Reds were beating everybody in the league except those @#$%^& Chicago Cubs—every time those two teams met the Cubs were beating up on the Reds, and no one seemed to know how they were doing this. Then one day one of the bench-warmers noticed something and told his teammates to watch the lights in the scoreboard—they kept flashing on and off. So one of the coaches, pretending to be just an ordinary fan, stripped to the waist, went out to the bleachers and draped his shirt over one of the lights. A security guard came over and told him to cut that out. The coach went away, but returned later with a large paper cup and placed it over the other light.
The Cubs failed to score in the next two innings.
And of course we all know the allegations of the Giants’ sign-stealing during their games against the Dodgers.
As to how we would deal with this problem nowadays—I can only tell you that when I was pitching all I did was confuse the batters in any one of a dozen ways. With all the different pitches I threw, I liked to make them think I was going to give them one pitch and then come in there with another, and they never knew whether or not I would crossfire said pitch. You can’t set yourself for a particular pitch when you don’t know whether or not a pitcher is going to throw it, or where. And I remembered what my pitching coach had told me about runners on second base—he had said “That guy will steal your shoes if you don’t watch out!” So, in that situation I would call time, call the catcher out to the mound, and in my best imitation of the Cards’ Howie Pollet I would tell the guy what I was going to throw.
Three up and three down. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher:

MrLee you remind me of my dad using the term Bush League. Well anyways I don’t care if they know a knuckler is coming because if it’s working right it doesn’t matter. What I care about is if they know a fastball is coming, then I’m in trouble. lol.

Actually though, just don’t worry about it, there’s a of batters, like myself, who don’t like knowing what’s coming because it gets me too anxious, I just wait to see what it is, knowing the pitch will just get me too prepared, idk if anybody else bats like this but I pay no mind to my runner when I’m hitting, at all.

If your signs are getting stolen I consider it your fault.

I was coaching in a 14 year old AAYBA National Championship Game in 2005 and glanced out at a runner on 2B flashing a “peace” sign to the hitter on our breaking ball. I called time and went out to our pitcher. On my way out I showed the runner the “peace” sign so he knew I was on to him.

Two pitches later we put a pick play behind him and got him and I whooped it up and our players let him have it, but afterwards I realized I had created the situation myself. At that point I developed my own signing system that is simple to us but confusing to anyone else. I actually use it from the dugout to our catchers in plain view of the other team without worry.

Take it as a compliment, take it as a challenge to your system, but I don’t think this is one of the situations I would resort to a beaning. There ARE situations that do call for it, this just isn’t one of them IMO.

I think the result is a change of signs and a beaning. I think it’s one of the most bush league things any player or coach (from the third base box) can do. People say that it’s apart of the game, and that’s fine, and at the higher level, so is throwing at people. Baseball irons itelf out.

Well said Hammer

I understand that it has been around forever and is still around, I dont need anyone to tell me that lol. But the problem is that I consider it cheating. The challenge of the game as a batter is to try and figure out what the pitcher is throwing to you and to adjust to it, not have someone TELL you what pitch is coming and give you a distinct advantage. I dont want some bush league play determining the outcome of the game because these players have to cheat to win. If it wasnt a tie ballgame when I witnessed this runner calling out my pitches, I would have beaned the batter in a heart beat. I thought about turning around and beaning the runner, but my infield was terrible last year and couldnt stop a lazy grounder so theres no telling what would have happened.

Well said Hammer

I understand that it has been around forever and is still around, I dont need anyone to tell me that lol. But the problem is that I consider it cheating. The challenge of the game as a batter is to try and figure out what the pitcher is throwing to you and to adjust to it, not have someone TELL you what pitch is coming and give you a distinct advantage. I dont want some bush league play determining the outcome of the game because these players have to cheat to win. If it wasnt a tie ballgame when I witnessed this runner calling out my pitches, I would have beaned the batter in a heart beat. I thought about turning around and beaning the runner, but my infield was terrible last year and couldnt stop a lazy grounder so theres no telling what would have happened.[/quote]

I hate knowing what’s coming, it screws me up.