LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The National League Championship Series is over and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers fair and square, L.A. manager Don Mattingly acknowledged.
But... the Cardinals also were trying to steal their signs. St. Louis batted .330 with runners in scoring position during the regular season — which is absurdly good — but were down to .259 with RISP in the NLCS. Was it in part because their intelligence — as in information obtained through spying — wasn't as good?
Before leaving baseball's winter meetings, Mattingly told ESPN Los Angeles that the Dodgers made some adjustments to reduce the possibility that Cardinals coaches on the field would steal their signs:
The Dodgers complained to the umpires at times about where Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo stood while coaching third base.
"We felt like we had to be sure we kept an eye on their first-base coach and their third-base coach," Mattingly said. "They're the ones with the easiest way to steal signs. Josie's a guy, at third, who's always looking for my signs from our dugout."
Mattingly said he did not relay signs during the series, having someone else in the dugout do it for him, to keep Oquendo from picking them up. The Dodgers did not change their signs heading into the postseason, Mattingly said, because they felt it was likely to cause confusion among their own players, who were conditioned to the same signs all year.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked Cards' GM John Mozeliak about Mattingly's accusations before he left the meetings:Read More »from Don Mattingly says Cardinals tried to cheat by stealing signs during NLCS