Chipper Jones was none too happy with Jamie Moyer during Saturday’s game, not after the 49-year-old left-hander accused of him of relaying signs from second base.
The incident took place in the fifth inning, when Moyer stepped off the rubber and said a few words to Chipper at second base. MLB.com has the quotes:
“That was all on Jamie Moyer,” Jones said. “He woke a sleeping giant tonight. He started chirping and it went all downhill from there. He accused me of relaying a sign down 6-2 with a 3-0 count to Brian McCann. I have never relayed a sign to anyone while I’m on second base.”
Moyer declined to discuss the matter after the game, but Chipper had more to say:
“I don’t know what the problem was,” Jones said. “I was literally having a conversation with the shortstop [Troy Tulowitzki] when he stepped off and said that. I don’t know why he’s so paranoid. But to be honest with you, every pitch he throws is 78 [mph]. So it’s not like we really have to relay signs.”
The AJC’s David O’Brien tweeted this afternoon that Chipper said Moyer is “paranoid” about sign stealing because he comes from a team, the Philies, that always does it.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.