Introducing the ‘Man in White’ Stealing Signs

He’s known only as the “Man in White”; a faceless and nameless man who is secretly pulling strings behind the curtain and coordinating the lives of dozens for a single cause. I’m sorry, are we talking about baseball or “Lost”?

No, I’m not talking about the keeper of the island simply known as Jacob, I’m talking about the elusive “Man in White” identified in an article put out this morning by ESPN accusing the Blue Jays of stealing signs.

I won’t get into the intricacies of the crux of their argument, but suffice it to say if you’re going to accuse a team of stealing signs, you better have some cold hard evidence to back something like that up.


For a moment, let’s just think about the logistics of this; the Blue Jays have a man sitting in the stands in a white shirt approximately 375 feet from home plate, and somehow he is magically able to see the signs flashed by the opposing catcher over a football field’s length away?

Unless he had the aid of high-powered binoculars or was being relayed the signs by someone else in the stands via bluetooth or something like that, it’s nearly impossible to coordinate in the span of a fraction of a second.

I’m not denying that this is completely impossible to pull off, but it would be extremely difficult to do all of this without anybody noticing. Keep in mind that fans in the stands at the Rogers Centre are very astute, and they would surely also catch on very quickly if a pattern of sign-flashing emerged.

This article is coming off the heels of Russell Martin and Joe Girardi insinuating there may have been something fishy going on at the Rogers Centre during their last series in Toronto back in July. The accusations are as ridiculous then as they are now.

But that was merely the match that lit the flame of controversy, because once you irk one of baseball’s biggest cash cows in either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, if there’s smoke then there must be fire somewhere.

If the shoe were on the other foot and someone from the Blue Jays or any other “small-market” team accused the Yankees or the Red Sox of stealing signs, there would be an uproar of epic proportions by their fans.

Not that this story about the Blue Jays is flying under the radar, but had a big market baseball team been accused of the same thing, I don’t doubt it would have been just swept under the rug and chalked up to the other team being a sore loser.

Without any sort of proof of the “Man in White” or any other evidence proving the Blue Jays were stealing signs, this is all just hearsay. I just can’t believe a trusted sports institution like ESPN would run with a story like this.

I hope all the fans sitting in the outfield tonight (or anywhere for that matter) will wear a white t-shirt as a sign of protest against these accusations against the Blue Jays.


Maybe if we look close enough in the stands, we will discover the “Man in White” … only to realize he’s a season ticket holder that enjoys wearing white shirts has involuntary arm movements before every offspeed pitch by opposing pitchers.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

7 thoughts on “Introducing the ‘Man in White’ Stealing Signs

  • August 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    If the Jays were stealing signs I'm sure we would be right up there with the BoSox and the Yanks. Losing 2 games to the Rays, a game to the sad sack O's, and last night to the A's, yeah we're stealing signs but obviously the wrong ones

  • August 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    And BTW, I've read idiot commentary from ESPN before, including many anti-Canadian statements, and cracks about (in their minds) about our non-existing armed forces. Stating that ESPN is good sports journalism is like saying McDonald's is gourmet food. While it may be filling to start, what comes out later in the bathroom is what it really is. Just because ESPN may be the biggest, doesn't mean it's the best.

  • August 11, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Tony, that's the odd thing – aside from the increased home run totals at home (which isn't really out of the ordinary) it hasn't really helped the Blue Jays win more games.

    I was also surprised that ESPN decided to put something like this out. Usually they have substantiated evidence if they print articles like this, but it was all hearsay.

  • August 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Cashew, I would've never guessed it was Freddy Mercury … maybe Morgan Freeman, but not Freddy Mercury. Excellent detective work!

  • August 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    The Yanks have been accused of stealing signs (against the Rangers) and they were busted on opening day by Keith Olberman of all people (a game Justin Verlander started) where it seemed the Yanks knew the location of each pitch.

  • August 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Damaso, love that name by the way. I think it's something that everybody does in baseball, but most teams are very coy about it unless they get caught. If it happens in the field, by all means it's fair game – but if they are being relayed signals from outside play, then that's not very fair.

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