Concert-goer says Derek Holland was kicked out of Counting Crows concert for “being really obnoxious”

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Craig posted about Rangers lefty Derek Holland’s adventure at a Counting Crows concert in New Jersey a few days ago. On Twitter, Holland complained about being kicked out for standing up and taking pictures, but a recent article by the Asbury Park Press has quotes from a concert-goer with a different account:

He was thrown out for ruining the show for everyone around him, said Amy Sloane, 40, of Howell, who was sitting in front of Holland.

“He was loud and he had a chip on his shoulder,” said Sloane, who didn’t know that Holland was a pitcher for the Rangers. “He was heckling people around us and talking about the group and just being really obnoxious.”

[…]

About an hour into the Counting Crows set, a young man in front of Sloane asked Holland to quiet down. Words were exchanged, and then security got involved. They escorted Holland out of the venue.

“Everyone clapped,” Sloane said. “They all felt the same way. Finally after that, everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves.

“Everyone was relieved that he was gone.”

Though his concert etiquette may need some work, he is otherwise having a great year. In 16 starts for the Rangers, the 26-year-old has a 3.14 ERA and is one of 13 qualified AL starters with an ERA below 3.50. He signed a five-year, $28.5 million extension with the Rangers in March last year.

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.