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MLB Reacts: If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’!

Spontaneous reactions to the latest potential sign-stealing kerfluffle in baseball.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

I am not convinced that Aaron Judge did anything wrong last week when cameras zoomed in on him staring into his own dugout during the New York Yankees series in Toronto. Players look to the dugouts all the time, after all, and even if there was some sort of potentially nefarious bit of information that was in transit through that glance, he was still going to be tasked with swinging his Sequoia at the hundred-mph offering.

[/taps earpiece]

I’m being told he homered on the very next pitch. Ah! Well. Nevertheless...

Trying to get an edge in the game of baseball is as old as the game of baseball itself, it’s just that roughly 98.37% of all baseball that’s been played at the Major League level happened in an era long before high-tech cameras and the ability to break down minutia at the rate we can today. Quite simply, you used to be able to get away with a lot more than you can today, and each time even a hint of something done with the intentions of it being under-the-radar gets a spotlight, it begs the age-old questions about sign-stealing, pitch-altering, and the like.

The latest round of SB Nation Reacts asked fans their opinions on the topics, and the results are in. Turns out you folks aren’t fooled - you know it’s not unusual for teams to try to identify what pitch is coming as early as possible, even if that means knowing before the pitch is even thrown.

That said, you’re old school about it. Analog sign-stealing still seems to mostly fly amongst us. It’s only when you bring in the tech crew that it becomes shady in most of our minds.

“Gray area,” hmm...

The last result here is, in my mind, perhaps the most interesting:

We’ve long talked about how if a batter fails only 7 out of 10 times, they’re a Hall of Famer. It’s tough being a hitter in any generation, and perhaps even tougher now than ever. The distance between home plate and the mound hasn’t changed, yet pitchers are bigger, closer to the plate with their deliveries than ever, and throwing gas at 100+ mph almost every single game, yet hitters are still tasked with trying to do what they can to put the ball in play. It’s like that’s at the core of why most fans seem to think cheatin’ that aids hitters is less cynical than that which aids the pitchers, since the pitchers hold most of the cards these days as-is.

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