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Braves suspected Marlins of using cameras to steal signs

If you've been wondering how the Marlins started scoring runs all of a sudden, and especially at Marlins Park, one of the best pitcher's parks in the majors, you're not alone. The Atlanta Braves found it more than just a little suspicious that the Marlins were not only tearing it up in their home park, but going hog wild against Aaron Harang on Wednesday just days after striking out 11 times against him in Atlanta.

The Braves, in fact, began to wonder if the Marlins were up to no good, specifically, by stealing signs through the use of cameras positioned strategically around the ballpark. That's right. The Braves wondered if the Marlins had concealed a camera inside the Home Run Sculpture. Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell even threw a towel over a Fox Sports camera lens before Thursday's game to keep it from focusing in on Braves starter Ervin Santana as he was warming up in the bullpen.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"If you would have taken a look at our dugout at one point in the game, it was like the fourth or fifth inning, they were hitting balls everywhere, we got three guys looking at the scoreboard,” (Braves manager Fredi) Gonzalez said. “You got two guys looking at their bullpen. I’m calling (bullpen coach) Eddie (Perez), ‘Eddie do you see anything?’ I’m looking at Gattis, thinking he’s maybe tipping his pitches. Carlos (Tosca) is looking in the bench over there, maybe somebody is whistling or something.”

Gonzalez said he changed signs five times during the course of Harang’s outing and went to multiple signs even with no runners on base. The hits kept coming regardless.

Gonzalez said he wondered if Gattis was giving away signs, but then figured that wouldn’t account for the disparity in the Marlins home/road splits in general. Entering play Thursday, the Marlins were hitting .307 while scoring 6.3 runs per game at Marlins Park. They were hitting .215 with 2.7 runs per game on the road.

“Yeah, you have this conspiracy theory, but at the end, we came up with nothing,” Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t like we saw a guy with the (binoculars), like Mick Billmeyer (former Phillies bullpen coach) in Colorado. At the end of the day, they didn’t miss the pitches. They were right there.”

Gonzalez was laughing when he told the story Thursday afternoon in the Braves dugout, describing how the Braves went so far as to look at the sculpture in left center field, wondering if there was somebody hiding in there with a camera.

“There was one guy sitting (in outfield seats) who had a red hat and an orange shirt,” Gonzalez said. “I said ‘Boy that’s a bad combination to have. I told (Jordan) Schafer and (Tyler) Pastornicky to keep an eye on that guy over there.’ The guy got up, went to get a coke.”

The Marlins, fresh off a series sweep over the Braves for the first time in five seasons, denied any such shenanigans.

"Just give us a little credit," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "I mean, we're out there playing the game the right way. Guys are battling and competing. That's how we're winning ballgames. Actually, I don't even think much about it because my focus is on our guys and my team and what we're doing. We just played a great three-game series and I'm not going to let anything diminish that."

Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee chuckled when asked about the Braves' suspicions. He said when he was with Milwaukee, the Brewers were often accused of stealing signs because of their tilted home/road splits.

If the Brewers were stealing signs through the use of an outfield camera, McGehee laughed and said "I would have hoped they told me before I hit .220."

"I'm not going to say it's never happened in the history of the game before," McGehee said. "But we're not splitting any atoms, let's put it that way."

Comments

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richie

umm, Freddie, Crazy People Think Everybody Else Is Crazy.

Juan Yanes

Freddy Gonzalez fail in the nine inning yesterday night with bases loaded he put as pinch hitter Pena instead of Doumit who is much better hitter. Very good maneuver in this game for Redmond in all aspects pitching and hitters

FtheBraves

Yeah cause Aaron Harang has Cy Young stuff and was gna pitch with a sub 2 era all season. I cant stand the keepers of baseball aka the braves.

Chopdafish

U will be f'ing them from the cellar with the other 12 reguar attendees to ur home games......per usual

Alex

You guys do know that I have ALWAYS hated Fat Fredi, right? I hated him big time when he managed over here. He was the most boring, unimaginative, orthodox, BY THE BOOK manager I had even seen, and I have watched baseball for over 50 years; I have seen a lot of mangers over the years. In 2008 and 2009, the two years that the Fish were over .500 and had pretty decent seasons, Fat Fredi was responsible by my count for losing about 8 games each of those years with his stubborn, predictable managing. That 4 out save Cishek had last night? You have no idea how many times I screamed at the TV those years "bring in your closer, Fredi!" But no. In the Book of Fredi, the closer pitches the 9th inning. PERIOD. Yeah, I will always hate him for those years, LOL.

Camera Mike

Alex,

Here is a link to an article by Dan Zinski on Fansided about the sign stealing accusation that you should appreciate, especially because of Dan's take on Fredi.

http://fansided.com/2014/05/02/jarrod-saltalamacchia-finds-braves-sign-stealing-accusations-laughable/#!Htd3h

Stan M

I mentioned luck recently. An overturned call and two pop flies fall in again. Another fine game. Someone has to be cut in order to activate Turner. It won't be Marmol, but it should. And let's hope that the lefty reliever whom Flav has been promoting is finally called up. With a 4 run lead, I would have liked to see Capps with Ciskek as an available backup. Our bullpen is a mess and our closer is not available tomorrow when Turner will be on a limited pitch count. If we win tomorrow, this team is indeed blessed.

Stan M

Jennings was sent down

Alex

Well, it's official: this team can FLAT OUT HIT! At least at home, and I think it's going to start carrying over on the road, too. The additions of McGehee, Salty and Jones have changed the entire lineup, made it into a squad with a lot of hard hitting veterans, with some up and coming young talent sprinkled in. The presense of those three guys plus Stanton has made it a lot easier to carry young guys like Hech, Ozuna, Dietrich and Yelich while they learn how to hit up here in the majors.

What having those veterans does is it allows the team to not have to rely on Stanton so much. And it allows the kids room to have bad games without it costing the team a chance to win. For example, Ozuna had a bad night. He has great natural talent, but he doesn't THINK very often when he comes to bat. Like Tommy said after he struck out with a runner on 2nd and no outs, he looked like he had NO PLAN when he got in the batter's box. Beckett had been throwing him curve balls all night. You would THINK that Ozuna would go up there in that situation looking curve; but he just stood there while Becket dropped a fat hanger right down the middle for Strike One. Two pitches later Ozuna was walking back to the dugout, a strikeout victim; the runner on 2nd base could not move up. Now you know why he isn't batting second anymore.

But the presence of these veterans makes it so that if Ozuna or Hech or Yelich is struggling, it's not the end of the world. Somebody else will step up. What a difference from Last Year!

Alex

I am puzzled by Redmond's use of the bullpen tonight. Reed Johnson started a 4 run uprising batting for Koehler, but Redmond had Marmol warming up no matter what. Redmond was really going to ENTRUST MARMOL with a 2-0 game! I've been telling you guys, THE BULLPEN IS SHAKY! Dunn has had a couple of decent games in a row, which is great. But I still don't feel comfortable with him out there. Maybe when his ERA gets below 4, I"ll feel better. But Marmol is as inconsistent as a guy can get. He either pitches great or REALLY BADLY - there is no "In Between" with Marmol. And tonight he was Bad. Real Bad.

So what was wrong with Ramos that Redmond burned Cishek in a non save situation? With Turner pitching his first game tomorrow, it's a pretty good bet the bullpen will be needed. Why burn Cishek after he just had a 4 out save yesterday? Unless Redmond plans of using Ramos as his closer tomorrow, I don't understand the move. I'll give Redmond the benefit of the doubt. He does a lot of things that are unconventional, he often goes with his gut feeling, which is really not a bad thing. It's better than Fat Fredi and his BY THE BOOK robot managing style. Hey, the team is winning, so Red is doing something right!

Alex

Thanks for that link, Camera Mike! Yeah, I liked the writer's conclusion: maybe the problem in Atlanta is Fat Fredi, LOL....

Alex

As for Beckett, it was cool to see our one time ACE. But he's just a shadow of his former self. This was a kid who hit 97 on the gun ROUTINELY and he has lost about 6 MPH on his fastball. Yeah, he's been around a while. But he didn't work out in the off season like fellow Texan Nolan Ryan who still was bringing it at 95 MPH at the age of 45.

Camera Mike

Alex,

Beckett definetely did not take care of himself and hasn't been doing so for years. Remember he was at the center of the fried chicken and beer scandal in Boston a couple years back. I live in Los Angeles and since his trade to the Dodgers the fans here have been nothing but disappointed in him and the talk has been he's been on the DL most of that time due to lack of work on conditioning and a selfish attitude. It came as a surprise to some out here when he did come off the DL. Also keep in mind in '03 he was starting to get a big head and was showing enough of a bad attitude that Mckeon pulled him out of a game he was leading after 4 2/3 innings to keep him from getting the official win to teach him a lesson.

He did look good tonight and will get some wins for the Dodgers this season but considering the talent he showed at such a young age it's a shame he never took full advantage of it and let himself go for so many years due to nothing but ego in my opinion.

Alex

You are so right, Camera Mike. When he was here there was a lot of talk about his lack of off season conditioning and coming in overweight, etc. But hey, these days guys get these huge contracts; what incentive is there to bust your butt in the off season like Ryan did?

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