Astros Sign Stealing Baseball (copy)

Baseball’s investigation into rampant sign stealing by the Houston Astros cost manager AJ Hinch his job and perhaps his career.

IT HAS already been an interesting week and we still have three days to go.

Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the revelation that the Houston Astros have been stealing signs for years. That should come as no surprise, because baseball players have been stealing signs, or at least attempting to steal signs, since signs were invented.

But the way the Astros were doing it was kind of unusual, thanks to a high-tech low-tech system. Apparently a camera in center field was picking up the catcher’s signs and a guy was relaying them electronically to someone in the dugout. That was the high-tech part.

Then there was the low-tech part, where the guy in the dugout was banging on a trash can to relay those signs to the batter. Similar to Paul Revere’s system—one if by land, two if by sea—the Astros were using two bangs on the trash can to indicate an off-speed pitch and no bangs if the pitch was going to be a fastball.

Two bangs on a trash can! That’s kinda like war drums in the jungle or Indians on the mountain warning the village that General Custer was coming.

You would have thought Houston would at least implant a receiver in the batter’s ear to transmit the message. After all, NFL quarterbacks have receivers in their helmets to get plays from the bench.

All this message stealing was apparently only occurring at Houston home games, which makes the Washington Nationals’ World Series victory even more impressive.

All this message stealing was apparently only occurring at Houston home games, which makes the Washington Nationals’ World Series victory even more impressive. If you recall, the Nats won the first two games in Houston and the last two in Houston. (Reports are that signs were not stolen in playoffs, maybe because the Nats took extraordinary measures to prevent that.)

If you ever wonder why players put their gloves over their mouths while talking during mound visits, well, rumor has it that Major League teams have been hiring lip readers to monitor TV broadcasts for years.

Kinda makes deflating footballs look like child’s play, doesn’t it? But when there’s big money at stake, some people will try anything.

Speaking of big money, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are ready to break ties with England’s royal family and get out of Dodge.

Man! Give up all that free money? Getting paid humongous bucks just to smile, tip your crown and spend a few moments mixing with the commoners?

Prince Harry apparently feels he can even make more money by trading on his name in either Canada or the United States.

Oh, well. To each his own. Being born into the royal family is like hitting the lottery with your first breath. You’re royalty and you’re set for life. Why give the money back to the government—even if you don’t like your brother?

Harry should also remember that if he shirks from royalty, his name might not be worth all that much on the open market.

While Harry and Meghan are moving to Canada, the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump appear to finally be moving from the House of Representatives to the Senate. At least that’s what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated earlier this week.

Pelosi has been holding back the articles until she is sure Trump will get an unfair trial in the Senate. Well, she can be pretty sure of that.

It is doubtful that the Senate Republicans—who hold a majority—will call any witnesses or fret over technicalities. It likely will be a quick “Case dismissed!” followed by a shaking of heads by GOP officials, who will cry in unison, “Why have you wasted your time, our time and millions of taxpayer dollars on this?”

While lack of class is an undesirable trait in a U.S. president, it is not an impeachable offense.

Also this week the Virginia Cavaliers dropped out of college basketball’s Top 25. In fact, by the time this season is over, Duke may be the only ranked ACC team.

But at least Clemson put up a good fight against LSU Monday in the college football championship game.

Yep, we’re at the point where the ACC has one quality football team—Clemson—and one quality basketball team—Duke.

Maybe if the other schools started stealing signs, they would get better.

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Donnie Johnston:

djohn40330@aol.com

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