The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser runs down the mess that is MLB tiebreaker system as it relates to the A’s and Red Sox possibly tying for the AL’s best record. It includes a change that was never announced by the league because, well, MLB has never wanted to bore us with the details.
So, in short, the tiebreaker goes like this:
1. Head-to-head record
2. Intradivisional record
3. Intraleague record (the new, previously unannounced one)
4. Second-half intradivisional record
I guess the addition of No. 3 is an improvement on falling back to what was the old No. 3. It’s No. 2 that’s stupid, though. Basically, it gives the team in the easier division an extra advantage after it already had the huge advantage of playing in the easier division.
In fact, the No. 2 tiebreaker should be the exact opposite: extradivisional record. The team that played in the stronger division that did a better job beating up on the rest of the league should have the advantage in the tiebreaker.
My tiebreaker system:
1. Head-to-head record
2. Extradivisional record
3. Run differential
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.