|Image courtesy of Notes from the Asylum|
No, I'm not talking about the keeper of the island simply known as Jacob, I'm talking about the elusive "Man in White" identified in an article put out this morning by ESPN accusing the Blue Jays of stealing signs.
I won't get into the intricacies of the crux of their argument, but suffice it to say if you're going to accuse a team of stealing signs, you better have some cold hard evidence to back something like that up.
For a moment, let's just think about the logistics of this; the Blue Jays have a man sitting in the stands in a white shirt approximately 375 feet from home plate, and somehow he is magically able to see the signs flashed by the opposing catcher over a football field's length away?
Unless he had the aid of high-powered binoculars or was being relayed the signs by someone else in the stands via bluetooth or something like that, it's nearly impossible to coordinate in the span of a fraction of a second.
I'm not denying that this is completely impossible to pull off, but it would be extremely difficult to do all of this without anybody noticing. Keep in mind that fans in the stands at the Rogers Centre are very astute, and they would surely also catch on very quickly if a pattern of sign-flashing emerged.
This article is coming off the heels of Russell Martin and Joe Girardi insinuating there may have been something fishy going on at the Rogers Centre during their last series in Toronto back in July. The accusations are as ridiculous then as they are now.
But that was merely the match that lit the flame of controversy, because once you irk one of baseball's biggest cash cows in either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, if there's smoke then there must be fire somewhere.
If the shoe were on the other foot and someone from the Blue Jays or any other "small-market" team accused the Yankees or the Red Sox of stealing signs, there would be an uproar of epic proportions by their fans.
Not that this story about the Blue Jays is flying under the radar, but had a big market baseball team been accused of the same thing, I don't doubt it would have been just swept under the rug and chalked up to the other team being a sore loser.
Without any sort of proof of the "Man in White" or any other evidence proving the Blue Jays were stealing signs, this is all just hearsay. I just can't believe a trusted sports institution like ESPN would run with a story like this.
I hope all the fans sitting in the outfield tonight (or anywhere for that matter) will wear a white t-shirt as a sign of protest against these accusations against the Blue Jays.
Maybe if we look close enough in the stands, we will discover the "Man in White" ... only to realize he's a season ticket holder that enjoys wearing white shirts has involuntary arm movements before every offspeed pitch by opposing pitchers.