CHICAGO – Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker dismissed Chicago White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera’s comments about possible signal theft by Houston, calling them “strong allegations.”
“It’s pretty much the same races, OPS and everything we are, well, actually, better on the road than at home,” Baker said Monday afternoon. “And I think they are actually better at home than on the road.
“So I don’t have much of an answer to that other than that I was listening to Eric Clapton this morning, and he had a song, ‘Before you accuse me, you need to look at yourself today.’ You know what I mean? all I have to say. “
Tepera hinted after Sunday’s 12-6 win by the White Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS that the Astros might be stealing signals when they play at home, though he didn’t say whether or not they were doing it legally.
“They certainly have a reputation for doing weird things at home,” Tepera said after Game 3 Sunday night. “I think you guys could see the swings that missed tonight in contrast to the first two games at Minute Maid.”
The Astros struck out 16 times in Game 3 at Chicago, their total for the first two games combined. Houston ranked fourth in the American League in home OPS during the regular season and first on the road; the White Sox were third at home and seventh on the road.
The Astros were disciplined by Major League Baseball after discovering the team used electronic devices to steal signals during their run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season.
The MLB investigation found that Houston used a video feed from a center field camera to view and decode signals from the opposing receiver during home games. Players would hit a trash can to signal to hitters what was coming, believing it would improve the odds of the hitter getting a hit.
The Astros have not been convicted of anything since.
“Are we aware that there are certain teams that are better at transmitting signals at second base? Yes, absolutely,” White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer said Monday. “But does that change anything to say it’s too shallow? Maybe. I have no idea.”
Houston catcher Martin Maldonado posted on Twitter Monday that “it’s always good to have extra motivation.”
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who played for the Astros in 2017, had little to say Monday when asked about Tepera’s comment.
“Whatever works,” Bregman said. “Everything is fine. We are just focused on winning games. That’s it.”
White Sox manager Tony La Russa did not provide an opinion on Tepera’s comments, but did approve of his reliever’s right to say whatever he wanted.
“I don’t get into those things,” La Russa said. “I just don’t get into it. And I try to realize that this is America, and the players can say what they want, and I can say that I don’t want to go in if I want to. I think they are a very good team and they are difficult to do. beat. That’s what I think. “
The Astros lead the series 2-1, while Game 4 was postponed due to weather and will be played on Tuesday. Game 5, if necessary, will be played Wednesday night in Houston. And if that happens, all eyes will be on the Astros once again.
“People can say what they want,” Bregman said. “Everything is alright”.
Associated Press contributed to this report.