Via Deadspin comes a story of the Class-A Clinton Lumber Kings finding themselves down 17-1 after five innings and coming back to win 20-17:
There’s never really a bad time to score 19 unanswered runs. But trailing 17-1 after five innings, the timing of the LumberKings—a Mariners affiliate—couldn’t have been much better. Six in the sixth, five each in the eighth and ninth, and three in 12th adds up to a comeback for the ages. And all somehow wrapped up in a tidy three hours and 28 minutes!
That’s pretty trippy — Deadspin links to the radio call of the game, which is a lot of fun — but I think this is pretty significant in the world of the Unwritten Rules too. After all, the next time someone gets huffy about someone trying to lay down a bunt for a hit or steal a base in a blowout, can we not point to this game and say that no lead is safe? I mean, sure, no big league team is likely to be quite the choke artists the Burlington Bees proved to be last night, but the old saying about how I’ll stop trying to win when you do seems to be the best policy, always.
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.