Rays of Light: Simple Solution to Sign-Stealing Scandal
By Seth Carter
The Tampa Bay Rays have been victimized (like many other teams) by the cheating scandal in the past couple of years. We look at a potential modern solution to a modern problem.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been cheated. We have a simple solution to the sign-stealing scandal. Modern problems require modern solutions (Dave Chappelle, Chappelle Show).
As you all have probably heard, the Major Leagues are being ravaged by an epic cheating scandal. If the news broke that the Marlins had been at the heart of the scheme the past two years, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal. They’d get punished and it would stop, we’d move on.
The problem with the current situation is the alleged cheaters have won two of the past three World Series Championships. The cheaters have been represented 100% of the past three World Series.
The Red Sox won the World Series from the Rays’ division in 2018 and the 2019 Astros eliminated the Rays in the American League Divisional Series, which included a crushing of Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow had a 1.78 ERA and some of the nastiest stuff in the game that season, yet the Astros knew what was coming because he was “tipping pitches.”
It’s the same scenario as Yu Darvish vs. the Astros in the 2017 World Series. Although, Dodgers executives disputed the notion that Darvish could have been tipping pitches.
Now, we rightfully suspect and assume that the Astros were cheating. They get no benefit of the doubt here.
Buzzing with nonsense
Rumors are now circulating that the Astros went beyond the video relay system they were using and even implemented an electronic buzzer under hitters’ jerseys to notify them of pitch types. That report is unconfirmed and has been denied as a real possibility by Major League Baseball in it’s cheating investigation.
Even though the idea that they used a buzzer not true (as far as we know) right now, it is a creative idea.
Modern problems require modern solutions
The notion of an electronic buzzer is not a bad idea. Hear me out here. I’m not talking about for the hitters, I’m talking about for pitchers, catchers, and perhaps even coaches.
The NFL has headsets in helmets and wireless communication between coaches and quarterbacks or a designated player on defense.
It’s just better than all the hand signals to the sideline.
Additionally, the physical gesturing can be spotted by people in the booth with binoculars, HD cameras, or functioning eyeballs.
Baseball is in the midst of the same struggles. So many things are communicated with physical gestures in the game, yet they are being monitored with some high-tech, wireless, high-definition communication devices.
Stealing signs has always been a temptation and really, it’s been a part of the game.
The use of modern technology makes it more egregious because the pitchers and catchers are in the stone age.
Let the pitchers, catchers, and maybe coaches, communicate with technology.
After the wrecking ball of this off-season has left 10% of the league without managers less than 30 days out from pitchers and catchers reporting, the cloud of suspicion will linger until the league finds a modern solution for modern problems.
Giving the pitchers and catchers a secret method of communication that can be observed by the entire world and all 2,500 cameras in the stadium is archaic. It’s time to upgrade.
If we are considering a robot umpire, it’s time to give pitchers and catchers a better system to fit the times.
It’s an easy solution to a complicated problem.