Hey, did you hear? Joe Mauer is tipping pitches to his buddies and Bronson Arroyo has crap on his brim, probably borrowed from Kenny Rogers' crap farm! To wit, here's a video that purports to show Joe Mauer stealing the signs from opposing catcher Gerald Laird:
This is like the baseball version of Oliver Stone's feature film JFK, except 1,000 times more boring and completely devoid of Tommy Lee Jones playing a Southern dandy. Two thumbs down!
Conspiracy theories abound, but we turn to Twins manager Ron "Gardy" Gardenhire to debunk the idea that Mauer was doing anything wrong:
"That's the best they can come up with? Chrysler," Gardenhire said. "Every team in baseball tries to steal signs. Every team in baseball tries to get the coaches' signs, the manager's signs, so ... really that's old stuff."
In other news, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan accused Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo of smearing baseballs with some pine tar that he kept oh-so-conveniently under the brim of his cap. The proof is in the chocolate pudding:
What is that, a shadow? Arroyo shut down the Cards last night, allowing but one run over 8 1/3 innings, and fared far better than John Smoltz, who had no access to the Rogers crap farm. In fact, Smoltz claims the balls at Great American Ball Park were not rubbed properly before the game started, and were too slippery for his liking. Smoltz also complained about a going problem, which may be a growing problem.
Stealing signs is really just as bad as steroids for the sanctity of the game (read: not bad at all, not even one bit), except tipping pitches is a white person's crime, while only Dominicans and blacks do steroids. So don't expect any finger-wagging columns from the bloviated Bill Plaschkes of the world because baseball players have been stealing signs since before the dawn of Mickey Mantle. It's totally cool if Mickey Mantle did it, right, Lupica?
As for wearing pine tar on the brim of your cap to scuff up baseballs? I don't support any form of 'gamesmanship' that led to the demise of the 2006 Yankees, like allowing Kenny Rogers to smear foreign substances on the baseball, or having a competitive team pay Kyle Farnsworth to pitch.
(both stories courtesy of Deadspin)