In the world of baseball, there are stealing signs and then there are tipping pitches.
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was accused of the former when the pinstripes faced the Toronto Blue Jays on May 15, and he glanced into his own dugout before connecting for his second home run of the night.
Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt said Toronto was tipping pitches and they knew what was going on during the game when he appeared on the podcast, “The Chris Rose Rotation” on Monday.
“Yeah, we knew what was going on. So, I’ll say this about the whole situation. They knew we were tipping and they were relaying tips. Is that illegal? No, it’s not illegal,” Bassitt told Rose. “Is it kind of in that gray area of like, all right, if the first base and third base coach are having to relay tips, is that kind of a gray area where it’s like should that be allowed for first and third base coaches to do? You can argue that back and forth all your want.”
Major League Baseball didn’t investigate the allegations, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone defended the 31-year-old outfielder when Judge claimed he was distracted by “chirping” coming from the dugout and was curious which of his teammates it was coming from. Bassitt didn’t find fault with Judge’s reasoning, even if it wasn’t true.
“Judge’s response to it? I had no problem with it. Was it a lie? Yeah, it was a lie,” Bassitt said. “… What do you want him to do? Come out and say, ‘Hey, all their pitchers were tipping and I’m gonna tell them how they’re tipping.’ I just think he kind of made up a story just to basically kind of say like I’m not gonna tell them they’re tipping. Like, why would I say that?”
Judge may have taken exception to the allegation when he covered his eyes after hitting a single in the final game of the series against the Blue Jays.
The two clubs don’t meet again until Sept. 19 for a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.