It wasn’t a very good night for first-base umpires Friday. Angel Hernandez cost the White Sox a win over the Marlins in the 10th, though they did come back and prevail in the 11th anyway.
MLB.com has the video and, more importantly, also has the audio as Hawk Harrelson reacts to the call. Alex Rios was ruled out on an inning-ending double play that should have been a fielder’s choice with the winning run scoring from third. Fortunately, the White Sox scored for real an inning later when Jeff Keppinger singled in pinch-runner Tyler Greene.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura responded afterwards, shrugging off the call:
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.