TORONTO — Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Jay Jackson thought he was calling home pitches Monday when Yankees quarterback Aaron Judge called him out.
it at bat sparked controversy As the cameras caught the judge throwing casual glances at the first base line, moments before Jackson courted. Many wondered if someone on the Yankees was sending signals to the reigning MVP of the American League.
Based on these suspicions, the pitcher could have gotten some clues about the pitch Jackson was about to throw, based on stealing cues or moves he calls.
In an interview with The Athletic on Tuesday night, Jackson said he believed the Yankees coach was able to see the grip he was using while holding the ball in his glove and that person was giving the information to Judge, helping him connect. The 462-foot home is running.
Jackson was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday and Toronto recalled right-hand man Thomas Hatch from the same affiliate.
Team members or coaches are not prohibited from studying pitchers with the naked eye and passing on this information to hitters. When the 2017 Houston Astros were penalized for signal theft, it was for using electronic tools, including live video feeds, to help gather information.
Jackson noted that his hands were raised above his head before entering the setup position, in a position that may have allowed Yankees first coach Travis Chapman to see the location of his hands to take the ball and thus mark the pitch.
Chapman may have relayed the information to the judge using a hand signal.
Jackson also admitted that he would reveal his pitches by moving his hands from the top of his head into a setup position in different rhythms, bypassing his hips, depending on the pitch chosen.
Neither Toronto manager John Schneider nor New York coach Aaron Boone had much to say about Jackson’s comments before Wednesday’s game.
Schneider said it didn’t matter how he felt about something that had happened in the previous two games.
“No, not for me,” said the manager, who is in his second season with the Blue Jays.
Bunn, for his part, doesn’t believe the suspension is the factor clearing his team of any suspicion of cheating.
“It was made clear much earlier,” he said. “There were no mistakes.”
After Monday’s game, Judge said he was looking into his team’s dugout to see which teammates were distracting him by yelling at home plate umpire Clint Vondrak.
Vondrak had just fired New York manager Aaron Boone over a low-blow discussion that was called to the judge.
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