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Mets think Dodgers could be stealing signs

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In the movie “Bull Durham,” Nuke LaLoosh, after giving up a long home run, said “the sucker teed off on that like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball.” The joke, of course, was that the sucker did know, because Nuke’s catcher told him.

It’s certainly not the case that Mets catchers are telling Dodgers hitters what Mets pitchers are throwing this week, but the Mets think something is up. From Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:

After Monday’s loss, a couple Mets told The Post they were concerned the Dodgers were taking some really big swings, almost as if they knew what was coming. They believe the Dodgers are so good at either stealing signs, knowing sequencing patterns of pitchers and arm slots via video that they were onto what Mets pitchers were throwing at times.

“I think they have a system that helps them get some signs and stuff,’’ bench coach Jim Riggleman told The Post. “I don’t think it’s anything illegal, but I think they just do a good job of picking up things.

Again, worth noting, the Mets are NOT accusing the Dodgers of breaking any rules or anything. Stealing signs is not against the rules. It’s gamesmanship. It’s only a violation if they use technology like cameras or transmitted signals or whatever to help them do it. If, as Riggleman suggests, they’re just scouting the Mets’ pitchers’ habits really well, and even if they’re flashing signs to one another from second base, it’s all fair game.

After that Monday game Riggleman said the Mets would work on ways to change sequences and arm slots and stuff in an effort to keep the Dodgers hitters back on their heels a bit as opposed to swinging out of their shoes. Guess it didn’t work because, as we noted in the recaps, last night the Dodgers bashed the living heck out of the Mets bullpen, coming back from a five-run deficit for a dramatic victory. That victory came, in large part, via some big, big swings that sent balls a long, long way, including homers from Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy. It was like they knew what was coming.

Maybe they did?

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85RZMIAL7vM&w=560&h=315]

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.