While sitting behind home plate and watching a parade of Yankees hitters pound out 24 runs against Texas pitching in the first two games of a series that ended Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba reached the conclusion that there was more to the onslaught than poor pitching by starters Alexi Ogando and Derek Holland.
According to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Torrealba accused Mark Teixeira and Andruw Jones of stealing signs and pitch locations from second base. Torrealba yelled at Teixeira on Tuesday night and Jones Wednesday night during Yankee wins by identical 12-4 scores.
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"I don't really worry about it,'' Girardi said. "I don't care for that. He's yelling at one of our guys, and I don't appreciate that. I'm going to protect my guys.''
Jones and Teixeira saw it as a sign of frustration by Torrealba. "He talked to Teixeira the day before, saying something like, 'I know you gave him the location over there,' " Jones said before Thursday's game. "He came out of there and yelled that out, and I didn't appreciate it that much. There's no excuses when the guy [Holland] is leaving pitches over the plate and they're getting hit. He's just trying to make excuses.''
Describing his reaction to Torrealba's comments, Teixeira said, "I said, 'I really don't know what you're talking about.' That was it. But it happens.''
Torrealba was not in the lineup for Thursday's game. When asked about the controversy, he had no comment.
"There's a lot of teams out there that [try to steal signals]," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "A-Rod has been known for doing that. Why not? A lot of people do that. To me, it's not a story. I think that's between the guys between the lines.''
Teixeira then related a story from when he was with the Rangers in 2005. White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle threw a shutout in Chicago against the Rangers and then came to Texas and gave up 10 runs. "[Buehrle] says we were getting signs from someone in centerfield and giving it to the scoreboard operator, who was flashing lights on the scoreboard and we knew what was coming,'' Teixeira said in an incredulous tone. "That's literally impossible. Guys just sometimes get paranoid.''
Jones said the Yankees also try to prevent opponents' baserunners from stealing signs when they reach second base. "That's been part of the game for a long time,'' Jones said. "They think you're doing something to tell the hitter what's coming, but he was [upset] because we hit so many home runs. Did we give a location when [runners] were on first base and we hit the home runs? I don't know. He was trying to make some excuses from getting their butt kicked.''