According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista has said a reliever from the Chicago White Sox bullpen threatened to hit him with a pitch last season after accusing the Blue Jays of stealing signs.
According to Bautista, while playing in right field last season a White Sox relief pitcher said to him, "We know what you and your teammates are doing...Keep it up and someone is going to get hurt."
The player went on to say, “We know what you’re doing. If you do it again, I’m going to hit you in the [expletive] head.”
It would seem Bautista is trying to play the sympathy card, now that people are saying, "Ohhh, that's why he suddenly hit 54 home runs at the age of 29, after never hitting more than 16."
There is always an explanation for outrageous things happening in sports. Unfortunately, in baseball, they usually require something dirty.
The current or former White Sox reliever has not been named.
Every team tries to steal signs in baseball, but my question is how players know when other players are doing it and how you tell which cases require threats and which cases simply require changing signs.
Ah, the unwritten rules of baseball. So bizarre.
Now, threatening to hit someone in the head is probably the worst thing you can do in baseball, besides of course blatantly cheating.
It's fair to see where the pitchers are coming from. All you can do is threaten someone, if they know what pitches are coming.
Hitting a player in the head on purpose is not the answer, but you can at least put the fear of god in them.
Last season, the Blue Jays led baseball with 257 home runs, 150 of which were at home, which explains the accusations of sign-stealing. The Boston Red Sox were second with 211 home runs.
As the best player on the team the last two seasons, Bautista is receiving most of the questioning regarding the sign-stealing. Bautista hit .241 with 21 home runs and a .347 OBP on the road last season and .282 with 33 home runs and a .412 OBP at home.
This year, however, Bautista's number are pretty identical in and away from Toronto.
It's a little difficult not to question a now 30-year-old who, after never hitting more than 16 home runs in his career, suddenly hit 54 last season and has 33 this season.
Unfortunately, in baseball, no player can be good without some doubt.
Throwing a baseball at someone's head at 95 miles per hour is not the answer. Then again, we've never been on the mound watching a guy standing and staring after hitting a home run off us that someone else handed to him.
I could see that being a bit annoying.
See Crash Davis on what to do after being told what pitch is coming.