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Were the St. Louis Cardinals actually stealing signs from the Milwaukee Brewers?
Less than two wakes of baseball have been played in 2022 and already accusations are being thrown around about sign-stealing. During a recent matchup between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, the former’s broadcast team set about making some accusations about the latter.
Bill Schroeder was the one who, during a Nolan Arenado at-bat, suggested the Cardinals are taking a page out of the Houston Astros’ playbook.
The base hit by Arenado furthered the Cardinals’ lead and had Schroeder questioning how fairly the game was being played. Robert Murray of Redbird Rants broke down exactly what Schroeder had to say about the situation while also bringing some clarity as to how factual it may be:
“We have not seen this kind of attack against Freddy Peralta in a long time. It’s almost as if they know what’s coming. He’s not using a PitchCom. I’m not saying the Cardinals are stealing signs and knowing what’s coming. I’m just saying that’s how it looks.”
Is there any truth to the Cardinals stealing signs from the Brewers?
It’s a strange accusation to make without anything more than a gut feeling in the moment. Sure, Freddy Peralta was getting beat up. It may have felt atypical to Schroeder to see him fail. Anyone who has watched enough baseball will know some pitchers just have off-days. Peralta is hardly untouchable on the mound.
Given the controversy still looming from the Astros and several other teams who continually receive such allegations, it’s not such a surprise to hear new ones get thrown around regularly. In this instance, however, it feels more like requesting a guy take a PED test after hitting two home runs in a game.
If there is some truth to the accusation, maybe there was something to the old and somewhat forgotten hacking scandal around the Cardinals when they stole information from the Astros. Long before buzzers and spider-tack were the best way to take advantage of another team, the Cardinals were putting the cybersecurity breaching skills to the test. Since then, sign-stealing has been the bigger question of baseball morality. It’s a strange line to set. When a player relays a sign from the catcher to the hitter is it allowed as long as technology isn’t involved?
Making this less likely, the game took place in Milwaukee. While it’s not impossible for the Cardinals to find a way to cheat on the road, it’s far less likely. They don’t have the same level of access in the road greys as they do in St. Louis.
We’ll all have to watch a few more Cardinals and Brewers games to get a better idea of what the truth is. If more signs point toward the Cardinals stealing signs then maybe Schroeder was right. But if he continues to make similar claims, maybe the pitching staff just isn’t all that great.