Oh my stars and garters, Andre Ethier flipped a photographer the bird

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Andre Ethier flipped the bird: During batting practice before Monday’s game against the Brewers, Ethier was snapped givin’ the finger to a photographer. And actually, the AP story uses the phrase “flipping  his middle fingers at a photographer,” so it may have been the rare but always impressive double-barrel salute. I like that kind of moxy. UPDATE: oh yeah, it was the double-deuce. WARNING: have your fainting couch handy if you click through to those pics.

The Dodgers and Major League Baseball don’t like that kind of moxy, however, so they made Ethier apologize yesterday. Though it wasn’t the most contrite apology. The L.A. Times runs his comments, and it really sounds like he’s more interested in complaining about the photographer than anything else.

Which is fine by me. I mean, sure, I suppose the photographer could retain Gloria Allred tomorrow and hold a press conference reenacting the incident, but I’m guessing he’s seen worse before.  If I were the Dodgers I’d prefer it if my players didn’t flip the bird to photographers, but given that my family — including my wife, my mom, my grandmother and everyone ever — has a habit of flipping off any other family member who ever tries to take a picture, I don’t have much room to talk.

Really, it’s uncanny. I have a picture somewhere of my great aunt Ruth flipping me the bird when she was 86 years old. Why? “Because you’re probably going to use that picture for my obituary.”  Well no, now that you shot me the bird, I can’t really do that, can I Ruchel?

Oh well. It was a lot funnier before digital cameras and bird-bombing a pic burnt up actual film.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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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.