MLB Week in Review (September 1-7)

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It seems like there is rarely a time when the MLB is not talking about some form of their unwritten rules.

Whether it be the rules about hitting a batter or the rules about celebrating a home run the league is constantly talking about these rules that aren’t necessarily rules.

Most of it centres around respect for the game and the fact that some believe celebrating or not getting payback for a mistake on a pitch is disrespecting the game.

Yet there is another aspect of the game that isn’t necessarily a rule but a part of the game that is just understood among everyone.

That all has to do with stealing signs which has been a topic for debate for as long as baseball has been around.

Stealing signs is essentially one team figuring out what signs the catcher is putting down and then relaying that to the batter in order to figure out what pitch is coming.

It provides an unfair advantage to the offence as they get that slight edge that could be the difference between striking out and hitting a home run.

The game is made up of these small moments and one small adjustment can make all of the difference in a game.

Finding out what pitch is coming is a big difference for a batter as they know what to look for and know how to adjust to get the best result.

Stealing signs has always been an interesting part of the game as it seems to be widely accepted that every team does this.

Yet when a team gets caught or accused of doing it turns out to be a massive issue throughout the league.

It is a weird section of the league as there is a wide acceptance of the practice but that practice is illegal.

Stealing signs is not allowed in the MLB rules but for some, it is just a common practice that happens all the time.

That is why catchers often use a mix of signs to call pitches when there is a runner on second base.

There have been countless accusations from teams that claim that anything from a man in a white shirt to cameras giving teams signals.

This week another accusation came out and it will have some major effects going forward even if there is no punishment.

During their final series against each other, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox traded accusations claiming that both had stolen signs.

The first came when the Yankees accused the Red Sox of stealing their signs and the Red Sox fully admitted doing it.

The Red Sox brought it to a new level though as they used Apple watches to steal the signs as the bench coach would see the sign on his watch and signal the second basemen who then would signal the batter.

The Red Sox admitted everything and so some punishment should be coming from the commissioner’s office.

There is no investigation needed for them as it has happened but this is a bit of a new issue as many of the accusations in the past have never been founded.baseball-sidebar

After admitting to what they had been doing, Boston sent their own accusations the other way claiming that the Yankees were using their own TV network to steal signs.

The Red Sox claimed that the Yankees’ YES Network cameras were relaying signs to the bench allowing the Yankees to steal signs.

There will likely be an investigation into those accusations although it might be harder to prove than the Red Sox who not only admitted guilt but were caught on camera.

The use of technology might force the MLB to look into the use of technology on the bench by the teams to see what they can do about limiting these issues.

It is the evolution of what many teams have supposedly been doing for years and the MLB needs to adjust to figure this out.

What might be more fun to think about though is that both of these teams seem like they are headed to the postseason this year.

If they happen to meet up at any point one of the game’s greatest rivalries has just added another chapter.

Both teams accused each other of cheating and for many Boston fans, the Yankees should just “man up” and admit what they did.

They won’t do that and will maintain their innocence unless they are caught and so the Red Sox have a little more fuel.

Meanwhile, the accusations against the Yankees are not going to make things friendlier either.

The rivalry has been reignited as both teams are good again and if they meet in the postseason the storyline has already been written.

Extra Innings

Historic Power

The MLB is in the midst of another power boom as there have been more home runs this year than ever before in a single season. J.D. Martinez did his part when he hit four home runs in a single game this week. The effort put him the record books as he became the 18th player in league history to go to the plate four times and hit four home runs while also becoming the first ever Diamondback to achieve the feat.

Verlander to Houston

The waiver trade deadline is usually pretty quiet as it can be difficult to trade using waivers but this year was a little more active. The biggest move of the August 31 deadline came right at the end as well. That is when the Detroit Tigers traded Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros just minutes before the deadline. The move showed that Detroit is ready for the rebuild while the Astros are now an even bigger favourite for the World Series.

Top Prospect

As the regular season winds down many are looking to the future of the game including ESPN. This week they released their report on the future of baseball naming their top prospects in MLB systems and a familiar name was at the top. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was named as the top prospect of the season after playing with the Dunedin Blue Jays this year. The son of former major leaguer, Vladimir Guerrero, had an impressive year in Single A and is certainly a player to watch in the Toronto Blue Jays system.

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