During the fifth inning of the Rangers’ loss to the Yankees yesterday catcher Yorvit Torrealba yelled at Andruw Jones, claiming he was stealing signs and relaying them to the batter while at second base.
Here’s what Torrealba told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:
We could all be wrong, but we could all be right, so I decided to say something. I don’t take it personally. I don’t take any credit away from them. I don’t even think they needed to do that. We were making a lot of bad pitches, and they hit a lot of mistakes.
Asked about the incident, Jones replied that “he’s just trying to make excuses for getting their butts kicked.”
As you’d expect, Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t appreciate the accusation, saying: “I don’t care for that. He’s yelling at one of our guys and I don’t appreciate that. I’ve said I’m going to protect my guys.”
Mark Teixeira also revealed that Torrealba complained about sign-stealing to him Tuesday night and Texas manager Ron Washington noted that Alex Rodriguez has a reputation for stealing signs, so clearly the Rangers have been stewing about this for a while now.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.