J.P. Arencibia laughs off sign-stealing allegations on Twitter

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Catcher J.P. Arencibia, one of the few Blue Jays not performing significantly better at home than on the road this season, is none too happy about the ESPN report claiming his team has been using a person in the center-field stands to steal signs over the last two years.

Here are his tweets from this afternoon:

Just read the dumbest article on ESPN about us getting signs? I’m hitting 200 and we get signs at home, that makes sense? #clowns

Teams/pitchers need to accept when we kick their ass in the rogers centre n not give excuses… Looks like we had verlanders signs #nohitter

What’s next? Man on CN Tower edge walk was seen relaying signs to bluejay hitters.. #clowns

Arencibia apparently doesn’t have much to offer besides insults to what was a well written ESPN piece.  Again, four players, while remaining anonymous, chimed in on catching the apparent sign-stealing in the act and it’s not as though this is something ESPN has just dreamed up: both the Red Sox and Yankees believe there’s something going on at Rogers Centre and have adjusted their catcher signals accordingly.

Arencibia himself certainly hasn’t taken advantage of any home cooking this year.  Like he said, he’s hitting .194 at home, compared to .234 on the road.  His 18 homers have been split evenly between home and road games.

Then again, maybe Arencibia simply can’t see the signals allegedly being offered in center.  He can hit the ball a long way when he gets ahold of one, but with a .207 average and 109 strikeouts in 348 at-bats as a major leaguer, it’s possible his eyesight isn’t what Jose Bautista’s is.  Take exhibit A: his aim with the Powerade cooler was well off.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.