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Astros’ AJ Hinch finds pitch-tipping paranoia ‘funny’

Astros’ AJ Hinch finds pitch-tipping paranoia ‘funny’

Astros manager AJ Hinch has heard the chatter — that Rays starter Tyler Glasnow was offering a sneak peek on his off-speed deliveries, that Houston had a poker-worthy tell on Yankees hard throwers James Paxton and Luis Severino.

There’s no rule against noticing a tipped pitch, and Hinch stated plainly during this American League Championship Series who is at fault if Houston knows what’s coming.

“If they don’t want to tip their pitches,” Hinch said, “then they should take consideration into doing the same thing over and over again.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Batter’s box espionage can take two forms — pitch tipping or sign stealing. The first is totally legal, just a matter of good scouting. Hitters might get an idea from the angle of the pitcher’s glove or the wiggle of his wrist.

On sign stealing, legality can get blurrier. A runner on second base has a clear view of the catcher’s signs, and there’s no rule against taking a peek and discreetly relaying that info to the batter — although the opposing battery might still take issue. That’s a practice as old as Cracker Jack.2

Smart devices and other fresh tech have opened another frontier for potential pilferers. Even before alarms were sounded in Cleveland and Boston last fall about the Astros’ man with a phone, paranoia about cameras, Apple Watches and other devices had made intricate signaling a full-time practice.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Major League Baseball has instituted rules to crack down on digital spying. MLB said “a number of clubs” called commissioner Rob Manfred to express concerns about video equipment being used to steal signs last season.

Although teams surely remain suspicious about the Astros and sign stealing, Houston’s ability to recognize discrepancies in a pitcher’s delivery has caused concern this month.

After getting tagged by Houston in the decisive fifth game of the AL Division Series last week, Glasnow noticed on video that he was broadcasting his breaking pitches.

“It was pretty obvious as far as the tips go,” he said.

More suspicions were raised in Game 2 of the ALCS, when the Astros jumped on Paxton. Television cameras caught Alex Bregman saying “glove” to Houston’s dugout after drawing a walk, a moment many interpreted as Bregman sharing a tell on Paxton’s delivery.

Bregman has denied using such info this postseason and expressed annoyance Tuesday at social media sleuths searching for hints of it. But Yankees fans have good reason to be suspicious. Paxton was informed by team adviser and former New York player Carlos Beltran after a start in April that Houston almost certainly knew what was coming.