While Brett Gardner led off the eighth inning, the ESPN cameras peered into the tunnel - which they're not supposed to do - and caught Bobby Abreu showing Alex Rodriguez how Manny Delcarmen tips his pitches.
As opposed to cutting the cameras and respecting the gamesmanship of the sport, the cameras inexplicably continued to roll. Immediately, Joe Morgan said, "I don't think we should have showed that," and he was right. Morgan then promptly explained what Abreu and Rodriguez were doing.
Over the past few years, baseball fans have been jokingly calling the world wide leader [N]ESPN to make fun of the channel's love affair for the Red Sox. I had always considered it to be conspiracy theory at best, and merely ESPN showing love to a team who had won two World Series over the past four years.
However, that Sunday night expedition into the private confines of the Yankees dugout tunnel makes me think twice before dismissing the [N]ESPN theorists. Now this wasn't an ALCS game or anything, but revealing to one of Boston's key late-inning relievers how he tips his pitches is absolutely inexcusable. Imagine if Abreu and A-Rod had been talking about Jonathan Papelbon's tell - those kinds of advantages can determine who wins or loses a tight game in the late innings.
There's no doubt in my mind ESPN understood that they were breaking the rules in filming such a discussion. And it makes you laugh considering I've never seen such a scene captured in the Red Sox dugout. Next time ESPN wants to use an in-game dugout cam, the Yankees should chuckle and reply no thanks.
If a reliever is tipping his pitches he will in all likelihood eventually realize that the hitters are picking up on something. But it is completely ridiculous for a tv network to literally broadcast that pitcher's mistake so he can then make the adjustment. Looks like Boston got the benefit of Spygate II - and nobody even realizes it.
This Better Be Just A Rumor
As we all know, the Yankees [and several other teams] have a mancrush on Brian Fuentes and hope to add the hard throwing lefty to their bullpen. According to Ed Price of the Star Ledger, the Rockies have begun scouting the Yankees farm system and have their eye on Mark Melancon.
Not that Melancon has proven anything at the major league level, but I firmly believe the current lights-out Trenton Thunder closer [who should be pitching at AAA] may very well surpass Fuentes in terms of effectiveness within the next couple years. Remember, Fuentes is 32, a whole nine years older than Melancon.
Giving up a talent like Melancon for a guy like Fuentes would be discarding a potential high-caliber closer for the next decade in exchange for a very good lefty reliever who could sign elsewhere this offseason.
This is not to marginalize the current Colorado closer's career, but there is some question as to whether he could even handle New York and he had been relieved of closing duties due to ineffectiveness in the past.
I'm all for acquiring an arm as talented as Fuentes, but only if it makes sense. You don't give up a 23 year-old closer type knocking on the big league door who, in the very near future, could be as good or better than the player you're trading for.