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Red Reposter - Mahle, Garrett, and the Sign-Stealing Sox

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Mahle didn’t throw well or much yesterday, lasting only four innings and giving up two runs and four walks. He wasn’t humpin’ it up to 95mph like he has been, which is probably not something to worry about but the way pitching is going for this team I’m calling around this morning to get life insurance quotes.

Amir Garrett will start for the Reds this evening for the first time in months. As you may recall, he opened the season in the rotation and was really impressive for a handful of starts before everything kinda fell apart for him. He thinks maybe the hip injury that put him on the DL earlier this year bothered him more and longer than he thought at the time. He says his fastball is sharper now and he is more confident, so hopefully he can get back to droppin’ threes from the baseline like nobody’s business.

Right here is where Scrabbles once again tells you to listen to CTrent’s Great American Dream podcast.

Beyond the Boxscore takes a look at the Reds’ rotation. If you are the type of person who reads Red Reporter (and I think you probably might be), none of this will be especially remarkable to you, but it is worth it to see what someone with a more dispassionate view of your favorite team has to say about them.

The Reds are the first team to add special ballpark kiosks where you can order food and such with an app on your phone. I don’t think they will sell beer, so I don’t have strong feelings on this one way or another. But I like the notion of making the concession experience faster so you end up missing less of the ballgame. I will be way more excited when they figure a way to use the toilet via mobile app.

Here are some GIFs of Corey Kluber’s slurvy monster. Kluber is one of my personal faves, mostly because he seems like a bloodless out-getting cyborg machine. He is like if Ivan Drago played baseball and was on your team and not the bad guy.

Our feature presentation today is about the recent spate of stupid baseball social mores violations. On Monday, White Sox outfielder and galoot Avisail Garcia got kinda yappy at Indians’ pitcher Trevor Bauer. It is well-worth your time to click through here and at least scope the videos of the events. In short, Bauer did his homework and saw that Garcia can’t hit a breaking ball any better than an emoji can hit a Reddit (pop culture reference!). So he fed him a steady diet of breaking balls, which apparently Garcia thought was unfair. He got mad and made his displeasure known to Bauer, who responded by striking the galoot out with his bender.

Bauer’s responses, both on the mound and post-game, are clearly the notable parts of this here exchange, but I have to wonder what exactly Garcia is thinking here. Surely he doesn’t believe that a pitcher is obligated to throw him the kinds of pitches he prefers to hit. But maybe he just forgot that in the moment. Either way, Bauer did exactly as the universe woulda wanted, reminding Garcia of the proper manners he should mind on the baseball field.

Then on Tuesday, the New York Times ran a story accusing the Red Sox of stealing signs in a recent tilt with the Yankees. The evidence is overwhelming and the Red Sox admitted to it. However, they quickly accused the same of the Yankees, pointing the finger back at them and invoking the historic judicial precedent of the landmark case of Goose vs. Gander.

Personally, I can’t get myself too excited about this. I mean, everyone knows everybody steals signs, or at least tries to. It’s the kind of thing that happens under the surface of the game, getting policed among the players without calling stuff out to the wider public. It isn’t openly encouraged, but it is generally seen as an element of gamesmanship. It’s more like the Hidden Ball Trick, not like throwing a spitball.

As outlined in chapter seven of the Unwritten Rules of Baseball, the Yankees making this public is just as bad a sin as the sign stealing. The proper recourse would be to revamp your signs and make them more difficult to steal, and also try harder to steal their signs right back. Running off and tattle-taling is kind of a punk move.

But while it is ideologically suspect of the Yankees to tattle, it is pragmatically a terrible idea, as well. It prompted a tit-for-tat battle, with the Red Sox alleging that the Yankees are just as guilty. And it could easily escalate into a mutually assured destruction scenario where every team gets bitchy about every other teams’ breaches of proper decorum and nobody has fun anymore because everybody is acting like a damn 10-year-old Brian McCann.

Of course, as punkish as the Yankees’ response is, Jon Heyman reaffirmed his status as the most punk-ass punk in baseball. He gets sanctimonious like few others can, saying the proper punishment for the Sox would be to vacate all of their wins against the Yankees this season. So congratulations, Jon Heyman, you are the worst. I’ll send you a case of Mounds bars as your reward. Is it cool if I just send it to Scott Boras’ office? You can pick them up there.