Sports | March 5, 2020 12:39 pm

MLB Wants to Limit In-Game Video Usage in Wake of Sign-Stealing Scandal

The league hopes that doing so will prevent further cheating

Josh Reddick during the World Series
Josh Reddick reacts during the 2019 World Series.
Elsa/Getty Images

The baseball world is still reeling from the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, and as a new report by The Athletic reveals, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is considering implementing restrictions on in-game video usage in an attempt to prevent further cheating.

There’s no word yet on exactly how far those restrictions would go, but the commissioner’s office is reportedly considering turning off broadcast feeds in the clubhouse, barring non-uniformed personnel from the clubhouse during games and restricting the in-game access of players and coaches to the video replay room. Some players are fine with the proposed changes (“Let’s go back to old-school,” Albert Pujols told the publication. “I’m good with that.”), but others are more hesitant to surrender their access to video entirely.

“I think it would be a huge hit to players in their abilities on the field if all video is taken away,” Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer told The Athletic. “I know I personally use it a lot. I know a lot of hitters that use it. I know a lot of pitchers that use it, for completely reasonable and fair and by-the-rules things. It would be tough to see that taken away.”

Brewers pitcher Brett Anderson said he would be fine with getting rid of live feeds in the clubhouse. “I don’t have a problem with you going in the video room before the series and looking at the shit,” he said. “If you can pick the signs up, that’s on me. But as soon as it gets into real time, that’s where shit changes. I think that’s players’ biggest gripe — you’re doing it in real time. You crossed the line.”

Royals pitcher Danny Duffy took it one step further, advocating for banning active players from leaving the dugout until the game is over. “I mean, how often do you see basketball players go up in their locker room during games?” he said. “We don’t need to. We don’t have to. As long as there’s a bathroom there, we’re good.”

According to The Athletic, the league remains undecided about what new rules to implement to restrict video access, but a decision is expected to be announced before Opening Day.

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