There is controversy surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays. In mid July, Yankees' manager Joe Girardi suggested that the Jays might be stealing signs by means beyond the playing field. The story circulated, but seemed to lose steam soon thereafter. Yesterday, however, reports stemming from an ESPN The Magazine article have brought the controversy back to life. Of course, the Jays front office has denied any wrong doing.
Have the Jays been going beyond the means of the playing field to steal the signs of their opponents? If so, is this the first time they have used fans in the stands to gain an unnatural advantage? No, it's not. We have the proof...
Last season, as you can clearly see from the video, the Jays employed two fake umpires to sit in the stands behind home plate and influence calls to go in their favor. I mean, did you see that pitch to Pat Burrell? Clearly low and inside! Even pitch f/x data from BrooksBaseball.net shows that the call was missed.
OK, so the pitch was borderline, but that's where the unnatural advantage comes in. The two umpires in the stands were going to ring Burrell up no matter what, so how awkward would the home plate umpire look if he just stood their while his two (fake) colleagues excitedly stood, spun and thrust their fists through the air? Peer pressure is no laughing matter people.
So there it is: Undeniable proof that the Jays have planted people in the stands to be used to gain an advantage over their opponents. If they did it once, chances are, they'll do it again.
Note: This story is in no way affiliated with any real investigative task force currently looking into the serious accusations facing the Blue Jays organization. If there even is such a thing.