Drellich: Deregulate sign stealing? New rules may have eliminated some theft, but not fears

From SABR member Evan Drellich at The Athletic on October 21, 2019:

Two high-ranking club executives from different Major League Baseball teams made a suggestion late last week: Deregulate sign stealing and let the clubs have at it. 

The idea was bounced around last year, too. League officials have heard it. The counter-argument: constant delays in-game as teams give 23 sets of signs.

Yet the thought still simmers today, at the conclusion of the first full season during which MLB had significant restrictions and monitoring efforts in place. The league sent a six-page memo to teams in the spring outlining the restrictions on live feeds and camera and technology placements throughout a stadium. There was an FAQ accompaniment as well.

League sources said the number of complaints was effectively reduced in 2019, and that no punishments were handed out this season.But the concern about sign stealing has not subsided. As one of those team executives said, speaking generally: “It still happens.”

So will the sport ever go through an October without frequent sign-stealing allegations?

Read the full article here (subscription required): https://theathletic.com/1305368/2019/10/20/deregulate-sign-stealing-new-rules-may-have-eliminated-some-theft-but-not-fears/

Originally published: October 21, 2019. Last Updated: October 21, 2019.