Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes celebrated news of Adam Wainwright’s elbow injury

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Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News was in the Reds’ clubhouse when news of Adam Wainwright’s injury broke this morning and described the scene, which included outfielder Jonny Gomes celebrating with a song:

Jonny Gomes walked into the Cincinnati Reds spring training clubhouse early Wednesday morning singing at the top of his warbly voice. The melody was not recognizable, but the words were plaintive: “Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone,” he sang joyously.

Wow.

It’s tough to tell the mood or tone of something based strictly on a written report, but McCoy’s article seemingly also paints Reds manager Dusty Baker’s reaction as … well, let’s just say something Cardinals fans would probably be upset by (although admittedly that likely wouldn’t take much given the bad blood between the two teams stemming from last season’s brawl).

If nothing else, Gomes has probably earned himself a few extra hit by pitches this season.

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UPDATE: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com spoke to Gomes, who attempted to clarify what he feels is a misrepresented situation and said: “From the bottom of my heart, I would never wish anyone an injury.”

UPDATE II: McCoy has now pulled the story about Gomes celebrating Wainwright’s injury from his column because he feels bad about the negative attention that is heading the outfielder’s way.

I thought the Gomes thing was humorous, with no malice intended by Gomes. That isn’t Jonny Gomes. He is one of my favorite people and I would not do anything to hurt him. It seemed it was Jonny’s way of saying the Reds wouldn’t have to face one of the best pitchers in baseball and he’d never wish injury on any player.

McCoy, however, is not retracting the fact that he heard Gomes singing about the unfortunate Wainwright news. He heard it. Others in the clubhouse heard it too, including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Gomes might not have meant for his song to come off as mean-spirited, but it’s out there now and ever-loyal Cardinals manager Tony La Russa tends to enjoy responding to such things.

The Cardinals and Reds begin their first series of the year on April 22 in St. Louis. Mark your calendars.

MLB to crack down on sign stealing

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We’ve had a couple of notable incidents of sign stealing in Major League Baseball over the past couple of years. Most famously, the Red Sox were found to be using Apple Watches of all things to relay signs spied via video feed. Sports Illustrated reported yesterday that there have been other less-publicized and unpublicized incidents as well, mostly with in-house TV cameras — as opposed to network TV cameras — stationed in the outfield and trained on catchers, for the specific purpose of stealing signs.

As such, SI reports, Major League Baseball is cracking down beginning this year. Within the next couple weeks an already-drafted and circulated rule will take effect which will (a) ban in-house outfield cameras from foul pole to foul pole; (b) will limit live broadcasts available to teams to the team’s replay official only, and the replay official will be watched by a league official to keep them from relaying signs to the team; and (c) other TV monitors that are available to the clubs will be on an eight-second delay to prevent real-time sign stealing. There will likewise be limits on TV monitors showing the game feed in certain places like tunnels and clubhouses.

Penalties for violation of the rules will include the forfeiting of draft picks and/or international spending money. General managers will have to sign a document in which they swear they know of know sign-stealing schemes.

As was the case when the Apple Watch incident came up, there will not be any new rules regarding old fashioned sign stealing by runners on second base or what have you, as that is viewed as part of the game. Only the technology-aided sign stealing that has become more prominent in recent years — but which has, of course, existed in other forms for a very, very long time — is subject to the crackdown.

While gamesmanship of one form or another has always been part of baseball, the current wave of sign-stealing is seen as a pace-of-play issue just as much as a fairness issue. Because of the actual sign-stealing — and because of paranoia that any opponent could be stealing signs — clubs have gone to far more elaborate and constantly changing sign protocols. This requires mound meetings and pitchers coming off the rubber in order to re-start the increasingly complex series of signs from dugout to catcher and from catcher to pitcher.

Now, presumably, with these new rules coming online, teams will figure out a new way to cheat. It’s baseball, after all. It’s in their DNA.