Is Sign Stealing Cheating Or Strategy
We all have heard about the Houston Astros being caught with their hand in the Stock Footage Cookie Jar, but is the ruling really as bad as it is made out to be? Honestly, I don't really know. What is known is the charge against the Astros is for Sign Stealing. While this may be an issue on etiquette, this is not an actual rule in baseball. Sign Stealing is not against any rules but rather treated as a traditional part of the game. The problem is how far some people will go to capture and study the signaling made by another team.
I had a long conversation about Sign Stealing and while it is not exactly the most gentlemanly thing to do, it is not a rule breaker. However, there are rules in place that state that any use of technology for the exact purpose of monitoring signs during a game with the willful intent to learn signs outside of the game's duration is not allowed. I know for a fact there is a major baseball team that hired people to install cameras into the opposing team's dugout. Maybe those cameras are used to capture footage of signaling or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe those cameras are for the safety of the opposing team in case of emergency situations. Whose to say for sure?
The issue of Sign Stealing doesn't become an actual issue until the team that utilizes this method wins, like the Astros. But, knowing what your opponent is doing and being able to counter it are not easy to pull off together while in the middle of a game. It wasn't that long ago when the Red Sox were being put on the spot for Sign Stealing. Then again, this may all just be speculation. If you would like to learn more about sign stealing, check out the ESPN article here or check out The Washing Post article here. In my personal opinion, I see the ethical dilemma in recording a team for the specific purpose to decode their signals but at the same time, I just see that as a strategy. What do you think?