Sign stealing: a waste of time, but easy enough to defend against

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reproduces an email he received from former major league catcher Brent Mayne talking about sign stealing and mound visits and stuff.

It’s pretty illuminating.  Among the the tidbits he offers are that most hitters don’t want stolen signs flashed to them by their teammates anyway. I can see that: how much time do you have to prepare for a pitch in the first place? Not a ton, so why would you want to take your eyes of the pitcher for the second or two you’d need to focus on the baserunner bouncing around down at second base?

Also, if you think the bad guys are stealing signs, you’re much better off simply using a subtle indicator of some sort to change signs pursuant to a pre-set pattern as opposed to having mound visits. If you have multiple conferences on the mound the other team knows you’re changing up, and they’ll know they need to pay closer attention and try to steal a new set of signs.

Mayne sounds pretty sensible in all of this. Maybe Jorge Posada and CC Sabathia should call him this winter for a couple of tips.

Red Sox add Drew Pomeranz, drop Brandon Workman from the World Series roster

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The Boston Red Sox just released their World Series roster and it contains one notable change: pitcher Drew Pomeranz has made it, pitcher Brandon Workman is off.

Pomeranz did not pitch in either the ALDS or ALCS following a season in which he went 2-6 in 26 games, 11 of which were starts, with a 6.08 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 66/44 in 74 innings. That was pretty horrendous but . . . I guess he’s fresh?

Workman, meanwhile, pitched in two ALDS games and one ALCS games, going only a third of an inning each outing. He was shelled in Game 1 of the ALCS, the Sox’ only loss, allowing four runs on three hits and walking two batters. Given that outing and his lack of use in Games 2-5, it’s pretty clear that he’s lost Cora’s confidence.

Also off the World Series roster: knuckleballer Steven Wright, who has been suffering from achey knees. As was the case in the ALCS, Heath Hembree will get the call over him.

Here’s the entire roster, as just released by the Red Sox: