Along with Louis Murphy's Viagra bust, this was another good story to break before a weekend and be completely ignored.
For this, we have to thank dogged investigative journalist Keith Olbermann, or at least his Tweeted photo of a Yankees employee behind home plate flashing hand signals to hitters in the on-deck circle. It made news, and MLB was forced to give Brian Cashman a call to gently remind them that that's a no-no.
"Communicating pitch types, pitch speed, through hand signals, is prohibited," the spokesman said after looking at the photo. "We're going to call them to remind them what the rule says. It could all be perfectly innocent - some clubs don't trust what's on the scoreboard."
That's totally what happened, says Brian Cashman.
It's Brett Weber's job to sit back there, charting the type and speed of pitches. Part long-term scouting, part in-game feedback. The feedback was just a little too immediate in this case.
Cashman said that Weber was relaying the velocity of the pitches after the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium malfunctioned. It failed to show the radar gun readings that are posted after every pitch. Cashman said Weber usually wore a headset to communicate the type of pitch to scoreboard operators. That was what the assistant general manager Jean Afterman told Joe Garagiola Jr., baseball's senior vice president for standards and on-field operations.
That's as legit an excuse as any, if you ignore the whole signaling-to-on-deck-hitters thing. Baseball says they won't act on it beyond tongue clucking.
"It's a silly situation," says Cashman, who's gotten into more than a few of those recently. CashMoney just don't give a fuck.