Early in February, the Dodger organization was named among teams accused of widespread cheating in baseball. A book, titled “Winning Fixes Everything,” focused on the Houston Astros and the sign stealing scandal from the 2017 season. That book also mentioned the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers as teams using video/technology to decode signs in game.
An incident involving former LA outfielder Joc Pederson was cited in the book and made headlines in recent weeks. The incident in question was recounted by an unnamed source from the Red Sox which accused the Dodgers of stealing signs during the 2018 World Series.
Pederson addressed the moment in question this week with KNBR AM680, a San Francisco-based radio station. Joc was accused of asking former Dodger Chase Utley if he had got his signs, which elicited a dumbfounded reaction from an MLB official. As Pederson told KNBR, yes the incident happened, but the book missed some much-needed context to the moment.
[Joc] said he wasn’t earnestly asking Utley or anyone from the Dodgers in the hallway for the signs, rather he was teasing the MLB official.
“(The official) was just standing in the way like a pillar, and we weren’t even allowed in there,” Pederson told KNBR. “There’s truth to it, yeah, I said that. But Chase wasn’t in there. No one was allowed in that hallway. Like, you couldn’t stand in the hallway and look at the screen. You had to walk to the video room. So I was just talking trash to the guy like a jokester.”Via KNBR.com
The Dodgers were investigated by MLB in 2018, as Dave Roberts told media last week, and that investigation resulted in nothing. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred also addressed the report last week and shared a similar sentiment. By that point, the league had measures in place to mitigate sign stealing, as Pederson explained.
“2018 was kind of the first year MLB had supervisors around. They had MLB officials around all the bullpens, video rooms, all of that. … when we played the Red Sox in the World Series, and there’s MLB officials in all these spots. And we weren’t even allowed — Chase Utley wasn’t even allowed in that. … you have an MLB official there, and it’s just annoying so I was talking s*** like I normally do. Like: ‘Yo, did we get the signs?’ Just messing around.”
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The Astros have been investigated and punished for cheating and illegally stealing signs using video. The Red Sox have been investigated and punished for cheating and using technology to relay signs in game. And the Dodgers remain unblemished by anything above the norm of the era in baseball. The club may not be perfect, but MLB deemed it that the Dodgers did nothing to challenge the integrity of the in-game action.