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Dodgers Catcher Says He Knows Cubs are Stealing Signs

“Did we know Zobrist had the signs and was doing something for it? Yeah, we did."

by Dave Brown
Oct 17 2016, 10:24pm

Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal accused the Chicago Cubs of stealing signs, doing so not as a complaint, but as a matter of fact. The way Grandal framed it, so to speak, is that the Dodgers expect the opposition to try and steal signs, and it is up to his own team to prevent it.

Talking to reporters after Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday night, Grandal was responding to a line of questioning regarding the frequency of mound conferences with left-hander Clayton Kershaw, and whether he and the Dodgers ace were having a hard time getting on the same page. No fewer than 12 times during his two starts in the division series against Washington did Kershaw meet with Grandal between the rubber and, according to Grandal, it was all because they were worried about Nationals baserunners stealing signs. Against the Cubs last night, they hardly met at all—mostly because the Cubs didn't get any runners to second base.

From the L.A. Times:

For additional evidence, Grandal pointed to Saturday's eighth inning, when Ben Zobrist led off with a double against Joe Blanton and Blanton stretched the count to 3-and-0 against Addison Russell.

"All the sudden, Russell is not taking good swings at sliders, looking like he's looking for a fastball and in a certain location," Grandal said. "Did we know Zobrist had the signs and was doing something for it? Yeah, we did. That's why we do it."

...

"We are literally paranoid when it comes to men on second and they are trying to get signs," Grandal said. "We know who is getting the signs. We know what they're doing. We know what they do to get it. In the playoffs, one relayed sign could mean the difference between winning the World Series and not getting there.

"That's why we have four or five different sets of signs, and we're constantly changing."

Part of the Dodgers paranoia comes from past results, like those against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 playoffs when Kershaw allowed big hits under certain conditions, which L.A. found suspicious.

It has been said that just because one is paranoid, it doesn't mean someone else isn't out to get you. It also is healthy for a team to change up its signs if it thinks they might be stolen. Why do teams disguise their intentions with signs? It's not just so they can add more layers of preparation. It's so the opponent won't know what they're planning, if they are trying to steal. Rather than whine and complain, or trying to get somebody to "do" something, Grandal's approach is best. Do better at disguising your intentions. Outfox the other guy. It's also fun, everyone pretending to be spies and stuff.

[LA Times]

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