TORONTO - The Blue Jays' next giveaway shouldn’t be a bobblehead doll.
Ushers should be handing out white, numbered T-shirts.
Everyone wearing No. 1 stands for a fastball.
All the No. 2s will stand for a curve ball.
And will the No. 3s please rise for a change up.
An ESPN report by Amy K. Nelson and Peter Keating told of an unnamed reliever in the visiting bullpen in right at the Rogers Centre, catching a fan relaying signs to Jays hitters.
“I was interviewed for that story the final four days of last season in Minneapolis,” Jose Bautista said. “The woman said she’d talked to people with the White Sox about it.”
Bautista said in 2010 he returned to right field and a White Sox reliever began screaming at him.
“I’m not saying who, I don’t want to give the story any more credibility,” Bautista said. “He yelled ‘we know what you and your teammates are doing ... keep it up, someone’s going to get hurt.
“Getting hit is one thing, telling someone one you’re going to hit them is something else. What if someone gets hit in the head and gets injured?”
Bautista told his teammates of the threat.
“It’s like steroid talk about me, this story is ridiculous,” Bautista said. “This is borderline funny, borderline ridiculous.”
Bautista was 3-for-12 (.250), without a homer and one RBI during the White Sox only visit in 2010 last April as he raised his average to .194. coming off a 13-homer season. He had four homers in the first 10 games, two against Baltimore.
Whomever that reliever was could see a big year coming.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters in Baltimore stealing signs from second is part of the game, but from the stands is wrong.
“That’s a no-no,” Guillen said. “I don’t know who did it or what comes of that. But in the field, you figure out. If they say it comes from the stands, that’s a very critical situation. But in the meanwhile, what are the Jays going to say? ‘Yes, we’re doing it?’ That’s very delicate point in to say,’ yes or no’ or ‘guilty or not guilty.’
“I will say (pointing to the centre), ‘that guy with the green shirt, that guy, this is the guy.’ That never happened to me. That’s why I don’t pay attention to that.”
The guy in centre at the Rogers Centre wore a white shirt.
“I’m innocent, it’s not me,” said (What Do You Know) Joe Bednarz wearing a white shirt operating the elevator Wednesday.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos answered questions in a news conference setting usually reserved for manager John Farrell’s sermons from the dais.
“If we were guilty, I’d be sweating,” said Anthopoulos later on the field.
While some players thought the story was a laughing/giggling matter (“I never looked at the guy in the white shirt, I saw a woman out there,” said one and “when are they going to tell me which guy to look at?” said Mark Teahen) others were upset.
“I’m upset by the story, because it’s not true,” said Adam Lind. “I put my credibility on the line. It’s not accurate.”
A fan flashed a “FASTBALL” sign when the Jays were hitting in the first.
Reliever Casey Janssen had a pair of bottomless coffee cups and taped together to look like binoculars around his neck.
If the Jays knew what was coming, why are they not undefeated at home? The question was asked on Sportsnet’s pre-game show with Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun, while a man in a white shirt flashed enough signs to land a couple of jets on an air craft carrier.
The one point I have is that secrets may last a while in baseball, but they seldom last forever.
Why have any of the disgruntled players who left Toronto spewing venom (Shea Hillenbrand, Alex Rios, Marco Scutaro, Rod Barajas, Russ Adams, Randy Ruiz) not tell the secret of the white shirt?
Or as police say when charged: “Can I see the video please?”
Yet, writers are like players in that they have reputations.
Keating I don’t know.
Nelson? An excellent reputation.