Carlos Delgado somehow found his name associated with the Houston Astros’ elaborate sign-stealing scheme on Saturday, and the former MLB slugger clearly is not having it.
The latest report about the Astros’ cheating scandal revealed that the team used a code-breaking computer program to decode signals from opposing catchers. On Saturday, SNY’s Andy Martino said the codebreaking system sounds “exactly” like the way Delgado used to record pitch sequences and signs in a notebook. Delgado did this by hand, mind you.
Delgado was understandably annoyed by the comparison, and he responded on Sunday.
— Carlos Delgado (@carlosdelgado21) February 9, 2020
What Delgado did was perfectly legal, and many players and teams have done the same since the beginning of baseball. Not all sign-stealing is illegal. The issue with the Astros is the way they used electronics and technology to assist them. With their code-breaking system, they had someone track the opposing catcher’s signs using video and then inputted them into an Excel-based application. The program allowed the user to determine which pitch corresponded to which sign, and that information could be relayed to an intermediary, then to an Astros baserunner, who passed it on to a hitter.
Not only did the Astros use a computer and video technology, but they had specific terminology for the practice, and there were even indications that they included it in the team’s budget.
Even if there was some similarity between Delgado’s notepad and the Astros’ spreadsheet, one is clearly cheating and the other is not. You can’t blame Delgado for not wanting his name dragged into that.