Report: Yankees believe Astros were stealing signs by whistling in Game 1
The New York Yankees reportedly believe that the Houston Astros were stealing signs in a way that broke “unwritten rules” in Game 1 of the ALCS.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, a Yankees coach noticed a whistling sound coming from the Houston dugout before certain pitches during the ALCS opener at Minute Maid Park. The Yankees became angry and yelled across the field, believing that the whistling was a form of sign-stealing and was being used to alert batters to what was coming.
A number of coaches and executives said that such an act would be widely considered a violation of the sport’s “unwritten rules.”
“They are NASA,” one coach said. “If a pitcher is tipping and the players can see from the dugout, no biggie. If they get it from somewhere else, that’s dicey.”
If the Astros had the Yankees’ signs, it didn’t really help them, as they lost Game 1 7-0. The whistling stopped for Game 2, which saw Houston win 3-2 in 11 innings. During that game, the Yankees frequently changed the signs even with no one on base, which indicates there was heavy suspicion that the Astros were stealing them.
Sign-stealing allegations have followed the Astros for a while now. A lot of it stems from the 2018 postseason, when some very suspicious things were happening early in the ALCS. The reputation for sign-stealing beyond what would be brushed off by other clubs has followed them ever since. For all the accusations, though, Houston scored three runs in 20 innings during the first two games, and actually had more success at the plate in the game where no whistling was observed. In that sense, it certainly doesn’t seem to have impacted the series much.