CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Indians have filed a complaint with MLB about the Houston Astros trying to film inside their dugout during the Game 3 of the ALDS at Progressive Field.
An employee of the Astros, holding a cellphone camera, was removed twice by security from the photographer’s pit next to the Indians’ dugout during Game 3 on Oct. 8. The Astros completed a three-game sweep of the Indians with an 11-3 win that day.
On Oct. 9, the day after Houston’s sweep, Boston officials called the Indians to find out what happened. Four days later a similar incident took place at Fenway Park during Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday between the Astros and Red Sox, according to Metro News.
In the third inning, Fenway Park security removed an Astros employee from a media-credentialed area near the Red Sox’s dugout. The man, according to Metro News, had a small camera and was texting frequently. He did not have a media credential.
Boston security was on the alert because of what happened in the ALDS between the Indians and Astros. MLB told Metro News that the matter is being handled internally.
For almost two weeks before the ALDS, the Indians worked hard to protect their signs because of Houston’s reputation for stealing signs. The Astros reportedly try to train cameras on the opposing catcher, manager and bench coach in an effort to steal signs and pick up tendencies.
The Indians’ preparation was so intense that those close to the situation said it bordered on paranoia. After the sweep Jason Kipnis talked about being out-played, out-scouted and out-coached by the Astros. Mike Clevinger said the Indians had their backs against the wall analytically before the series started. They may have been referring to the Tribe’s preparation to prevent Houston’s sign stealing. To say nothing of dealing with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Dallas Keuchel.
The Astros, according to one school of thought, may have just planted the man in the photographer’s pit next to to the Tribe’s dugout as a smokescreen. Manager Terry Francona, bench coach Brad Mills and other coaches are located at the other end of a crowded dugout. So what exactly could he decipher from the camera pit?
If that’s true, it would indicate an elaborate scheme.
Complaining about sign stealing is always a two-edged sword in the big leagues because so many teams do it. Boston manager Alex Cora was Houston’s bench coach last year when the Astros won the World Series. So if the Astros have any tricks up their sleeve he would know about them.