Everything is about the Yankees

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Local TV news in small towns is great. Every story, no matter how unrelated to the area, is tied in locally somehow. “Tsunami in the Pacific! Stay tuned to Action4 to see what that means for you in Central Ohio!”  It’s the very essence of provincialism to look at something that has no connection to you but to stretch for connections.

But it’s not limited to small town TV news. It happens in the biggest of cities too. The back page of today’s New York Post:

source:

I haven’t read the Ken Davidoff article that crazy headline teases, but I’m going to assume a guy as smart as him doesn’t truly see the Hernandez story as bad news for the Yankees. How could it? Hernandez was not a free agent and there has never been a truly credible rumor that he was going to be traded there. If you asked Brian Cashman if the future of the Yankees hinged on them getting Felix Hernandez he’d look at you like you were an insane person.

Rather, this is pretty clearly an editorial diktat to make EVERYTHING about the Yankees if possible.  Or if impossible. Either way. And it feeds into the entitlement a certain brand of Yankees fan gets which is about the most tiresome thing in the world.

Oh, and then this pops up:

Never change, New York Post. Never change.

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.