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#pounditWednesday, June 29, 2022

Manny Machado sign stealing during World Series is not illegal

Manny Machado

The Boston Red Sox say they caught Manny Machado stealing their signs when he was on second base during Game 2 of the World Series, but that does not mean the Los Angeles Dodgers star was doing anything wrong.

Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie told Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller that he noticed Machado relaying signs from second base to hitters in the fourth inning on Wednesday night. After David Price struck out Enrique Hernandez on a nine-pitch at-bat, LeVangie chose not to visit the mound to tell Price about it because he didn’t want to break his momentum.

The next batter, Yasiel Puig, swung at the first pitch and singled to center, driving in a run to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. LeVangie said he regretted not going to the mound sooner after Machado was clearly seen using hand signals to relay signs to the hitter. Some will accuse Machado of shady antics, but LeVangie was quick to point out that the slugger did nothing illegal.

“Oh, it’s clean,” he said. “It’s baseball. If you’re not hiding your stuff with a runner on second base and you’re giving them a free view, that’s on you, the pitcher and the catcher. It’s up to the pitcher and catcher to manage that and to us to oversee it and make sure we’re going about it the right way.”

In this particular context, “stealing” probably carries the wrong connotation. Machado was basically taking what Price and Boston catcher Christian Vazquez were giving him, and there’s no rule against what he was doing.

Of course, the Milwaukee Brewers were reportedly concerned that the Dodgers were using illegal methods to steal their signs during the NLCS. That would be a different story, but there is no evidence of that having happened during Game 2.

Machado’s reputation has taken a hit during the postseason with the dirty play he committed against Milwaukee, so it’s no surprise he’s being accused of cheating in the World Series. That doesn’t mean he was.

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