MLB Players Against Banning In-Game Video | Athletic Business

MLB Players Against Banning In-Game Video

Major League Baseball players are speaking out as the offseason sign-stealing scandal may impact their in-game resources.


According to The Associated Press, New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton said that the MLB has proposed banning players’ access to video during games. The MLB Players’ Association reportedly wants video to continue to be used, but no longer show catchers’ signs in the wake of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

“Right now, MLB’s proposal would be like a blackout. There would be no access,” Britton said after the Yankees met with Tony Clark, the head of the players’ association, on Wednesday. “That’s a pretty extreme stance because of one team, that everyone else is punished. So, hopefully, we can find some common ground, but definitely before opening day. Guys would like to understand what we’re going to be allowed to use and what we’re not going to be allowed to use before opening day.”

Related content: Astros Used Cameras to Steal Signs

Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez told Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci that the idea of banning video is “a joke.”

“To take our game back 30 years, I think you’re not doing it justice,” Martinez said. “I think you’re just trying to do yourself a PR stunt … It’s a joke. It’s gotten so ridiculous.”

Players have grown accustomed to studying tape in between at-bats. Clark said that it would be possible to have an employee to cut signs out of clips, which could be sent in for review.

“The view that the players have is one that is concerned about where the game is and where it’s going,” Clark said. “Everything that we’ve slid across the table in regards to proposals on technology has been a reflection of that. And everything that we’ve slid across includes access to technology, certain technology during the course of the game. There’s systems that allow for access to your at-bats, and or your time on the mound. Having access to those videos even with certain criteria in place to protect the integrity of those videos is what has been in the proposals.”

The Astros were caught using outfield cameras to steal catchers’ signs and relay them to batters during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. No players were disciplined, but the Astros were fined $5 million, and manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one season. Both were fired soon after. The league is also investigating whether or not the Red Sox broke the rules.

Related content: Astros Fire Manager, GM Following MLB’s Suspensions

Related content: Astros Apologize for Sign-Stealing Scheme

“The frustration lies with some of the issues with the teams filing complaints three or four years ago and nothing being done,” Britton said of the Astros, who won the 2017 World Series.

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