Former Cubs Manager Joe Maddon Talks About Electronic Sign-Stealing and a Team of Whistlers

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Former Cubs Manager Joe Maddon Talks About Electronic Sign-Stealing and a Team of Whistlers

Chicago Cubs

Understandably, the league ain’t keen to have a huge scandal be one of the biggest stories at its marquee offseason event, so we haven’t heard any updates on the Astros sign-stealing investigation lately. And I definitely don’t expect to over the next few days.

I did, however, find comments from Joe Maddon on the topic to be interesting and worth sharing today.

“We’ve had our concerns,” the former Cubs skipper said about electronic sign-stealing, per Yahoo. “Everybody’s had their concerns about that. It’s not like it’s anything new. I want to believe that MLB will do something to eradicate that. I like a level playing field, period ….

“Good old-fashioned sign stealing from your eyeballs, that’s not cheating. It’s just good baseball. When you use electronic cheating, that’s not good. It’s almost tantamount to steroids in regards to an imbalanced playing field. If we could level that out and eradicate that and you get guys going out there naked every night just based on their own abilities, I’ll take it. But to do it from a centerfield camera or from banging an object in the dugout or whistles. Whistles were big, too. One city was big on whistling. That’s the kind of stuff I want to get rid of.”

It’s not certain what Maddon means by the whistling team, but it seems to me he was not directly referencing the Astros (who have been accused of using whistles, but the Cubs played in only one series over the past few years), since he kind of delineated that from the banging, which is much more associated with the Astros. It seems like Maddon was winking at a particular team out there, which is kinda funny.

The broader point is the important one, though. Maddon – like so many others around the game – knows that the electronic sign-stealing issues permeated far beyond just the Astros in 2017.

You’ll recall, the Cubs frequently deployed multiple signs in some cities, even with no runners on base (for example, I saw it many times in Milwaukee). Of course, in fairness, we also have to note that the Cardinals did the same thing late in the year at Wrigley Field. None of that is proof against any particular teams – it’s just reinforcing Maddon’s overall point: this stuff is happening, and MLB needs to be sure to use the Astros investigation as an opportunity to stamp as much of it out as possible.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.