Bill Baer

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 15:  Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after hitting a double in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game one of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Ben Zobrist denies Dodgers’ allegations of stealing signs


As Craig wrote about on Monday afternoon, Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal accused the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist of stealing signs during the NLCS. Grandal said, “We are literally paranoid when it comes to men on second and they are trying to get signs. We know who is getting the signs. We know what they’re doing. We know what they do to get it.”

Grandal was referring to the fateful bottom of the eighth inning in Game 1 during which the Cubs scored five times and went on to win 8-4. Zobrist led off the inning with a double, bringing Addison Russell to the plate. According to Grandal, “All the sudden, Russell is not taking good swings at sliders, looking like he’s looking for a fastball and in a certain location.” Russell took three sliders to go up 3-0 in the count, took another slider to make it 3-1, swung through a slider to bring the count full, then grounded another slider to third base for the first out of the inning.

The story has been making the rounds and Zobrist caught wind of it. On Twitter, Zobrist wrote with a link to a FOX Sports article about the issue, “This is hilarious….umm…no I was not stealing signs.  Glad you think my baseball IQ is that high.”

Mike Napoli becomes fifth player to homer for four different teams in the playoffs

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17:  Mike Napoli #26 of the Cleveland Indians hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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During the ALDS, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin became the fourth player to homer with four different teams in the playoffs. With a solo homer in the fourth inning of Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday evening, Indians first baseman Mike Napoli became the fifth such player. The homer broke a 1-1 tie.

Here’s the list:

  • John Olerud: Blue Jays, Mets, Mariners, Yankees
  • Ron Gant: Braves, Reds, Cardinals, Athletics
  • Reggie Sanders: Reds, Diamondbacks, Giants, Cardinals
  • Russell Martin: Dodgers, Yankees, Pirates, and Blue Jays
  • Mike Napoli: Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Indians

Napoli was having a quiet postseason entering Monday’s action. He had logged only one double and one single in 18 plate appearances.

Trevor Bauer exits ALCS Game 3 start after two-thirds of an inning

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17:  Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians throws a pitch in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Indians starter Trevor Bauer recently suffered a cut on the pinky on his pitching hand while attempting to repair a drone. Bauer has made no secret that building and utilizing drones is his main hobby. Due to the cut, Bauer was pushed back in the Indians’ ALCS rotation.

Bauer insisted he’d be just fine in his Game 3 start against the Blue Jays, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. The right-hander lasted just two-thirds of an inning. After issuing a walk to Troy Tulowitzki to put runners on first and second base with two outs, Jays manager John Gibbons came out to home plate umpire John Gibbons, pointing out that Bauer’s finger was dripping blood. Gorman went out to the mound and informed Francona that Bauer’s bleeding was “too much” and that he’d need to be replaced. Bauer left and Dan Otero entered.

Bauer struck out Jose Bautista looking, walked Josh Donaldson, induced a line out from Edwin Encarnacion, then walked Tulowitzki before departing. Otero got Russell Martin to ground out to second base to end the inning.

Due to Bauer’s short outing, the Indians will call on Corey Kluber to start on short rest in Game 4, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. Ryan Merritt will start Game 5.