Sign-stealing (or sign-confiscating) of a different kind took place at a Houston Astros game on Saturday, as numerous fans had posters with anti-Astros messages taken away at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
ESPN News Services set the scene from the Houston vs. Washington Nationals spring training game, which occurred almost six weeks after MLB ruled that the 2017 World Series-winning team stole signs using an intricate system:
"Two men in Nationals gear sitting behind the Astros' dugout briefly held up crudely drawn signs just before first pitch. One read: 'You see my hate?' in large block letters. And another said: 'Houston *'s' to read 'Houston asterisks,' suggesting the Astros' 2017 World Series title should be permanently blemished because of the cheating.
"The men didn't get to show off their signs for long. A woman who worked for the ballpark quickly approached to take the signs. The men didn't argue with the woman, but they did look confused as she walked away with the signs folded in her arms."
ESPN's Stefano Fusaro provided a picture of the asterisks sign:
If Saturday is a sign of things to come for the Astros, however, then road games may feel interminable for the franchise.
ESPN described more criticism, with fans booing when "Astros" was said over the public-address system and Houston players getting heckled on the dugout steps before the game.
Fans even booed the Astros' mascot Orbit.
None of the players who took part in the spring training game were implicated in the investigation, but that didn't appear to matter as a chorus of boos cascaded over the West Palm Beach, Florida, facility, which the Astros and Nats share.