The Semiotics of Baseball

Managing brain Tony LaRussa always has a plan.

The game-within-the-game dictates the passing of signs from the dugout to the field, and sometimes from dugout to dugout. This game of chess is covered in Right Off the Bat, and is a factor in the ongoing NLCS between the Brewers and the Cardinals. The Brewers had a phenomenal record of 57-24 at home this year, which fuels suspicion of some form of cheating or “advantage gaining” in the stealing of signs at cozy Miller Park. Some stadiums are almost built for the telegraphing of signs. This would be a conveying from the outfield (say by mascot Bernie Brewer, which is not to make an irresponsible accusation) of signs picked up from the opposing catcher. Batters so tipped off have a large advantage knowing which pitch is coming. It is reported that Tony LaRussa, manager of the Cardinals, has gone to an elaborate system of signals to throw off any sign-stealing in Milwaukee. Another Italian, Umberto Eco, would certainly find the semiotics of baseball to be of interest.


About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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