The pre-game talk at Rogers Centre on Wednesday was all about ESPN the Magazine's report alleging that the Blue Jays stole signs last season, via a "man in a white shirt" who supposedly raised his arm if Toronto players were about to get an offspeed pitch.
Signs in the outfield Wednesday included "Fastball" and "I stole this sign."
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Jose Bautista The members of that bullpen shouted accusations at Bautista as he took his position in right field and one threatened to throw at Bautista's head if the Blue Jays continued the sign-stealing.
Blue Jays deny charges of sign stealingSo do these charges have merit? Highlighting the Blue Jays' top two sluggers, Bautista has a 1.115 OPS at home this season in Toronto. Taking screen caps from an April 2010 game between the White Sox and Blue Jays, three men wearing white can be seen in center field during the game. Blue Jays Toronto's home run rate on contact was 5.4 percent at home in 2010, meaning Rogers Centre boosted the Jays' rate by 1.8 percentage points, or about 50 percent. THE BLUE JAYS RESPOND
Toronto Blue Jays On July 14, Yankees catcher Russell Martin said he thought Toronto was stealing signs from second base.
Jose Bautista Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos denies that his team has relayed signs from beyond the field of play. Stealing signs is as old as signal-calling itself. Statistically, the Blue Jays look like a team swinging out of their cleats at Rogers, with an unusual home-field advantage in hitting home runs.That puts Rogers Centre in 2010 among the top 3 percent of home run ballparks since 1950.
But only the Blue Jays, and not their opponents, got a home run boost in Toronto.