Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas are in The Best Shape of Their Lives

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A rare twofer on the BSOHL beat.  From the mouth of Ned Yost in Bob Dutton’s notes column from yesterday’s KC Star, talking about how a ton of guys are already in Royals camp despite it still being ten days from the mandatory reporting date:

“There are a ton of position players here, too. Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas — I’m extremely proud of both of those guys. They are in the best shape they’ve been in their career. Billy looks great, and I hardly recognized Moose, he looks so good.”

Of course Mike Moustakas is 23 years-old and has a grand total of five professional seasons under his belt, so I would hope he was pretty close to the best shape of his career as it was.  But really, good for him.

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.