The Game With No Signs

April 21, 2009

True story. It was 1994 if I’m not mistaken, the year Jacobs Field opened in Cleveland. Anyway, I was with the Royals and we’re playing the first game of a three game series. It’s the bottom of the first and before you know it, we’re down like 8 zip…and we only have one out.

I remember Doug Linton was pitching and taking a beating. Our manager, Bob Boone, had been out to the mound a couple times, baffled by the fact (as we all were) that the Indians were coming out of their shoes on every single pitch thrown – like they knew what was coming.

They obviously had the signs, but how? Was the first or third base coaches picking them from me or Linton? Was the on deck hitter relaying them to the hitter? The runners on base seeing something? We were baffled and nothing we tried remedied the predicament. It was to the point where I needed to put some cotton in my ears to muffle the deafening crack of the bat as the Indians came unglued. 

So somehow we limp out of the inning and make it back to the dugout. Boone’s going nuts and the pitching coach is going nuts….basically the ship has taken on some serious water and nobody has a clue how to plug the hole.

At this point it occurs to me that the game, even though we’re only in the top of the second, is basically over. With that in mind, I approached Linton (who surprisingly is still pitching) and tell him just to throw whatever he wants. No signs. What do we have to lose? You throw it and I’ll try to deal and catch it.

And you know what happened? The Indians didn’t score another run the rest of the game! We had about 6 different pitchers throw that game, and we didn’t use a sign the whole time. They threw it and I tried to catch it. The weird thing was, it really wasn’t that hard. Not to pat myself on the back too much (well alright, maybe I am bragging a bit) but I caught just about everything cleanly.

I found it much harder to catch a pitch when you’ve been crossed up. Things can get a little dicey when you’re expecting the ball to move a certain way and it goes the opposite, like when you call a curve and the pitcher throws a heater. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it every game, but just seeing the ball out of the pitcher’s hand and reacting worked for that particular day and effectively stopped the Indians from getting the signs. 

What were they doing? I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure, but if you want my opinion, I think they had a camera somewhere. Here’s a picture of Doug pitching for some crazy team. All for now. Adios.

8 Responses to “The Game With No Signs”

  1. Greg Pryor says:

    Great story Brent…Playing for Boone? I couldn’t have done it.

    Topper story….I was the SS for the W. Sox on July 20, 1980 and I called all of the pitches from SS position. LaRussa had a rookie battery (Dotson and Seilheilmer) and he didn’t want to give the pitches from the dugout. I got them from the pitching coach and relayed them to Seilheimer.

    We lost 7-6….maybe I should have lied!!!

    Greg Pryor (Senators/Rangers/Phillies/Eagles/Yankees/Sox/Royals)

  2. Greg Pryor says:

    Great story Brent…Playing for Boone? I couldn’t have done it.

    Topper story….I was the SS for the W. Sox on July 20, 1980 and I called all of the pitches from SS position. LaRussa had a rookie battery (Dotson and Seilheimer) and he didn’t want to give the pitches from the dugout. I got them from the pitching coach and relayed them to Seilheimer.

    We lost 7-6….maybe I should have lied!!!

    Greg Pryor (Senators/Rangers/Phillies/Eagles/Yankees/Sox/Royals)

  3. Brent Mayne says:

    Hey Greg, great story…that is a topper though! I knew LaRussa had some serious paranoia issues.

  4. Royce the Cherokee says:

    Brent, 1995.

  5. Brent Mayne says:

    gracias

  6. [...] you heard me right. Not sure if Jose Molina would be up to that task, but why not give it a try? Great story check it out when you have a chance. Brent will be joining me on Thursday’ [...]

  7. MK says:

    cool stories, guys

    mayne story: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE199505090.shtml

    pryor story: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIL/MIL198007200.shtml … doesn’t help the chisox had 4 errors!

  8. [...] wrote a past blog about a game I caught with no signs that happened against that particular Cleveland team. I’m pretty sure (and I’m not the [...]

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