As the Houston Astros and baseball’s brewing electronic sign stealing scandal continues to make news -- the latest being audio signatures picking up precise moments of signals coming from the tunnels -- the Brewers being implicated may be at the heart of a testy social media exchange between its star player and one of the team’s biggest rivals.
As Kyle noted earlier in the week, a St. Louis beat reporter mentioned the Brewers as another team he’s heard possibly using some sort of electronic sign stealing system. In the vein of the slew of Twitter videos showing instances of the Astros’ system at work, Chicago Cubs blog Bleacher Nation tweeted out a video of a Christian Yelich at-bat against Yu Darvish this year.
Here's the video - it happens very quickly, and just before Yu steps off. Yelich is locked on Darvish, eyes flick toward left center, then back to Darvish. Yu steps off. pic.twitter.com/hqOSvGMGEh— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 15, 2019
Darvish himself tried to nip any theories in the bud, saying he didn’t think Yelich was stealing signs.
I'm not sure what is he trying to do.— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 15, 2019
But to be clear his eyes move first.
That's why I step off.
Yelich, though, came back with a response that could be seen as defensive and a little out of the blue.
Be better than this. Nobody needs help facing you https://t.co/DlUDwjJn4X— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) November 15, 2019
Easy man.— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 15, 2019
I'm not saying your are stealing signs.https://t.co/kc0wcuTfeO https://t.co/CBQMa3p17Y
Other players tried to cut the tension with jokes about their own performance against Darvish, including Josh Donaldson.
I could use some help off him whatcha got?— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) November 15, 2019
The entire thing blew up on Twitter through the course of Friday, further escalating some hard feelings between the two fanbases. On Saturday morning, Darvish tried to have a little fun with the controversy.
Yesterday, the Japanese media accidentally used my picture in a news report about a hit and run incident where I was apparently the victim of the hit and run.— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 16, 2019
Ah..now that I think about it, I certainly was a victim of a hit and run yesterday.
Darvish is generally one of the more laid back or less serious players on Twitter (see his playful tweets poking fun at Justin Verlander for his lack of athleticism during the World Series as an example, after Verlander did the same to him earlier in the year, or poking fun at Anthony Rizzo after he won a Gold Glove), so it’s not out of character for him to make a joke out of the entire situation.
Yelich, meanwhile, may be best served by his own advice on Twitter earlier this year -- relax.