We talked relics in the last post. An autograph is kind of like a relic too, but it’s way higher up the list, at least if it’s obtained in person. And the circumstances around getting that autograph matter too. If you pay a bunch of money to have some flunky take your baseball card from you, hand it to Former All-Star Player, sitting 10 feet away, it gets signed and is given back to you, well, not so special.
If, however, you’ve spent the past 70 years of your life worshiping baseball and then travel from Venezuela to Chicago for the specific purpose of meeting Omar Vizquel, who then shares some warm words with you while he’s on the diamond getting ready for the game, well, that’s a way more special relic.
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.