TORONTO -- The great sign-stealing debate between the Yankees and Blue Jays continued Saturday when Joe Girardi intimated his opponent could be stealing signs from somewhere other than the playing field.
"Sometimes we have inclinations that things might be happening in certain ballparks and we're aware of it and we try to protect our signs," the Yankees manager said before Saturday afternoon's contest at Rogers Centre. "The last thing you want is a hitter to know what's coming. And if you wanted to let him know, you would say it's a simulated batting practice. And we're not doing that. We're going to protect our signs and I've told the guys there's things you have to do at certain ballparks."
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Asked if he thought the Blue Jays could be stealing signs from off the field, the former catcher said: "Could be."
Though Girardi said he's not "100 percent sure about anything" and "I'm not accusing anyone," his latest dig comes on the heels of two big losses to the Blue Jays (47-47). The Yankees (53-37) were pummeled, 16-7, in the series opener Thursday night, as Bartolo Colon got lit up for eight runs in two-thirds of an inning, and they lost, 7-1, Friday night with Freddy Garcia on the mound.
After Thursday night's game, catcher Russell Martin said he realized by the fourth inning that Jays runners at second base had been relaying his signals to the hitter. The next day, Girardi said Toronto has a reputation for stealing signs but added it is not cheating if it takes place within the confines of the field.
"I think if it's coming from the bullpen or someone's binoculars or it comes from the stands, that's out of bounds," Girardi said before Friday's loss.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said his team doesn't "look to any other means other than what takes place in between the lines."
"We're fighting to get back to .500 at home, so if there was any other reason to think otherwise, honestly I don't know why someone would make that remark," the first-year manager said. "We prepare to go out and play the game each and every day the same way and other than that, I don't have any comment on it."
Both Garcia and Martin said they had trouble getting into a rhythm because Girardi told them to use multiple signs even when runners weren't on base Friday night.
In response, Girardi said: "That's why you have to be clever about your signs and you have to be able to change them without having to walk out. You have to be able to do that. I had a bunch of different ways that I could change signs with never having to go to the mound. But that seems to be the norm now . . . We'll continue to talk about it."