Fun Winter Meetings stuff: every Major League manager with the exception of Charlie Manuel and Joe Torre are being made available to the media at set times over the next three days. Today we’ve got Bobby Cox and Jim Riggleman at 2PM, Piniella and Dave Trembley at 2:30, Ozzie Guillen and Terry Francona at 3:00, Ron Washington and Dusty Baker at 3:30 and Don Wakamatsu all by himself at 4PM. Apparently he gets his own deal because the world financial markets hang on Wakamatsu’s every word or something.
I’m going to hang around and may even ask some questions. If any of you have anything you’re just dying to learn from these guys, put it in the comments. Assuming it’s not the sort of thing that’s going to get me punched out, I’ll ask it.
As for reporting it: I’m not going to parrot back all of that “we just take it one game at a time” and “we’re really excited about next year” baloney. If someone says anything interesting, however, I’ll pass it along.
The early money is on Ozzie Guillen.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.