I missed this on Saturday but Josh Beckett confronted Melvin Mora about Mora possibly stealing signs from Jason Varitek while at second base and relaying them to Ramon Hernandez.
Mora says Beckett apologized the next inning. Mora: "I've been playing 17 years of professional baseball and I don't play that game. I don't like that, because I think that's cheating -- and I know the pitcher's got to eat, too."
Jason Varitek didn't think Mora was stealing signs, though he said it's common. "I've been talking about Toronto for quite a few years. You've got to worry about New York, Texas. It's not just hitters, either, it's stealing bases. They figure out the signs, and go on a breaking ball because they have a better chance."
Baltimore first base coach Juan Samuel agreed: "That's nothing unusual to me. You can try to do whatever to get an edge."
Stealing signs is not cheating. It's part of the strategy of the game. If you can crack the other team's codes, whether you are on first base, second base, or sitting in the dugout, you pass on the information. Don't players know this? Maybe Mora does, but he thinks admitting anything will make fans think he's cheating.
It's like finding a pattern in a third base coach's movements or seeing some minor twitch that means a pitcher is throwing to the plate and not to first. As long as you are not using anything other than your eyes and brain, it's not only completely legal, it's practically expected.