When chanting “Let’s go Blue Jays” is an insult

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My hockey counterpart James O’Brien reminds us that the Blue Jays will never be the number one game in Toronto, but they certainly can serve as the basis of an insult:

If starting their 15th goalie of the post-lockout era wasn’t a strong enough sign that things are bad for the Toronto Maple Leafs, then Thursday’s humorous chant clinched it. During various points ina 7-1 drubbing by the Philadelphia Flyers, Buds fans sarcastically (and at times, quite loudly) chanted “Let’s go Blue Jays.”

While there are times when fans will promote local teams when times are good (usually when a given squad’s success is unusual), it’s often the comical barometer of especially bad times for a franchise.

Ouch.

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.