What is Cheating?

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AllforOne

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I have no idea what you are talking about. What I am talking about is simple: using electronic devices the way the Astros did; to in real time relay what pitch is coming to their hitter. That is crossing the line.
It's okay. I've had no idea what you've been talking about in this thread either. #agreetodisagree
 

Obscured By Clouds

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The responses in this thread are making my point for me. Many/most fans confidently say "X is cheating" or "Y isn't cheating" ... but they really can't express a neutral principle that divides the Xs from the Ys. It's just "I know it when I see it." I'm not saying that's bad or wrong or whatever. Shit, I'm glad to see the Astros get nailed to the wall. But I suspect as much of that is because I hate the Astros, than it is some neutral principle of sport that I can clearly express.
No, It's been clear, when you use electronic devices to relay what pitch is coming in real time is what makes X cheating. A hitter noticing something like a tipped pitch is what makes Y not cheating.
 

Obscured By Clouds

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It's okay. I've had no idea what you've been talking about in this thread either. #agreetodisagree
That actually makes you the odd man out, as it appears you are the only one not understanding using cameras in the OF to see what pitch is coming, then relaying that info to the hitter in real time, is what crosses the line.

I mean, you realize MLB warned all teams a few years ago not to do this, right? You understand that the Astros just got punished for doing this exact same thing? There is no #agreetodisagree when the governing body says this is crossing the line and gives out one year bans to personnel involved, and removes draft picks.
 

bob2the2nd

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What is cheating. Breaking a rule, clearly defined in the rule book, which the astros did.

Why are we still discussing this? The real question is why didnt the players get fined and suspended as well.
 

Obscured By Clouds

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What is cheating. Breaking a rule, clearly defined in the rule book, which the astros did.

Why are we still discussing this? The real question is why didnt the players get fined and suspended as well.
Much like when the PEDS thing first broke out, punishments will get tougher each time it happens. Remember, MLB warned all teams not to do this a few years ago after it popped up. They listed having draft picks forfeited as possible punishment if it happens again.

Considering the shit show this is becoming, I highly doubt we see this happen again any time soon, but if we do, it would not surprise me if active players are also punished.

I see a grey area for the hitter at this point. How can you prove that hitter was a willing participant in it? It's not like the hitter can make himself not hear the bang. I think that is where the buzzing devices come into play. If the hitter is wearing a device that will buzz to indicate what pitch is coming, you can't claim you weren't a willing participant in it. So for, MLB has found no proof of such things being used.
 
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AllforOne

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Rather than respond to all the posts individually, here's one general response (which applies to all of you).

And I'll start by saying that all of you are posters whose opinions I respect. You're not dummies. So it's very possible that I'm not explaining my thinking as clearly as hoped. I'll try to do so here.

I get that MLB has decreed that certain behaviors (e.g., using cameras to detect signs in real-time) are against the rules. What I am asking is: why is that? And all of your responses keep coming back to, in essence, "because they said so!!!" I get that they said so. You can keep posting it as though it is some revelation, but it's not. I've never said otherwise.

What I would like to see is one of you -- any of you -- put forth a rational explanation for why the lines are where they are. And to do it without using "because MLB said so!!!" as a response.

Explain to me why it is perfectly OK for a runner at second base to steal a sign and relay it to the batter, but it's not OK for a camera 300 feet away to do the same thing. Same exact fundamental activity seeking the same exact result, but one is "part of the game" while the other is "OMG THEY BROKE BASEBALL'S SACRED RULES!!!". Why? Why isn't the proper response "use better signs so they won't be so easily stolen"?

Explain to me why a team can study the video of another team after-the-fact to pick up on tells, signs, etc. ... but it's not OK to do it in real time.

Explain to me why an athlete can adhere to a strict diet, lift weights, take certain approved supplements, etc., and we all think it's great (and in fact would question his dedication if he weren't doing those things) ... but then we find other, similar behaviors to be against the rules. (Actually, a former professor of mine has written several articles on this exact point. e.g., http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com/content/bioethics/art1972.html)

Many of the rules/laws we have in society are arbitrary. Many of them require us to draw lines, ones that we struggle to explain logically. (Why is it OK to grow, harvest, and sell tobacco so that people can smoke it ... but it's illegal to do so with marijuana, at least until recently in some jurisdictions?) What I'm saying is that many of the lines that baseball has drawn are ones that I cannot explain logically as well.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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Rather than respond to all the posts individually, here's one general response (which applies to all of you).

And I'll start by saying that all of you are posters whose opinions I respect. You're not dummies. So it's very possible that I'm not explaining my thinking as clearly as hoped. I'll try to do so here.

I get that MLB has decreed that certain behaviors (e.g., using cameras to detect signs in real-time) are against the rules. What I am asking is: why is that? And all of your responses keep coming back to, in essence, "because they said so!!!" I get that they said so. You can keep posting it as though it is some revelation, but it's not. I've never said otherwise.

What I would like to see is one of you -- any of you -- put forth a rational explanation for why the lines are where they are. And to do it without using "because MLB said so!!!" as a response.

Explain to me why it is perfectly OK for a runner at second base to steal a sign and relay it to the batter, but it's not OK for a camera 300 feet away to do the same thing. Same exact fundamental activity seeking the same exact result, but one is "part of the game" while the other is "OMG THEY BROKE BASEBALL'S SACRED RULES!!!". Why? Why isn't the proper response "use better signs so they won't be so easily stolen"?

Explain to me why a team can study the video of another team after-the-fact to pick up on tells, signs, etc. ... but it's not OK to do it in real time.

Explain to me why an athlete can adhere to a strict diet, lift weights, take certain approved supplements, etc., and we all think it's great (and in fact would question his dedication if he weren't doing those things) ... but then we find other, similar behaviors to be against the rules. (Actually, a former professor of mine has written several articles on this exact point. e.g., http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com/content/bioethics/art1972.html)

Many of the rules/laws we have in society are arbitrary. Many of them require us to draw lines, ones that we struggle to explain logically. (Why is it OK to grow, harvest, and sell tobacco so that people can smoke it ... but it's illegal to do so with marijuana, at least until recently in some jurisdictions?) What I'm saying is that many of the lines that baseball has drawn are ones that I cannot explain logically as well.
So, you don't have a sports question. You have a philosophy question.

To answer shortly, there isn't a neat line you can objectively draw. As people, we have to come to an agreement of where the line should be, and then we all adhere to those rules.

If you wanted to dive deeper into this topic, Towson University's 2014 policy debate team is a good story.

To lift the philosophical hood and peek underneath just a little bit, it sounds like you would really like Immanuel Kant and his idea of the Categorical Imperative... or the rebuttals people have to it.
 

bigfoot5415

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As far as I'm concerned every single Astros player knew about this bc not one thought to question a man banging on a trashcan in ear shot.

So they all knew. The title should be vacated and they should all get a 1 year ban.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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What I would like to see is one of you -- any of you -- put forth a rational explanation for why the lines are where they are. And to do it without using "because MLB said so!!!" as a response.

Explain to me why it is perfectly OK for a runner at second base to steal a sign and relay it to the batter, but it's not OK for a camera 300 feet away to do the same thing.
Are you seriously asking the question because you don't know, or are you just playing Devil's Advocate? Because I'm having a difficult time understanding why a clearly intelligent guy like you can't come up with some pretty obvious, rational explanations of your own. If you seriously don't know, and can't figure out an explanation on your own, I'll give one, but I really don't want to waste time wordsmithing an explanation if you're just asking the rest of us to go through some mental exercise.

I mean...you don't see any reason why the defense trying to overhear what a QB is saying in the huddle is tolerated, but using a parabolic microphone on the sidelines to listen in and then relay that to the defense isn't? You can't think of any rational reason why the NFL would tolerate the one but not the other?
 
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Derek

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Rather than respond to all the posts individually, here's one general response (which applies to all of you).

And I'll start by saying that all of you are posters whose opinions I respect. You're not dummies. So it's very possible that I'm not explaining my thinking as clearly as hoped. I'll try to do so here.

I get that MLB has decreed that certain behaviors (e.g., using cameras to detect signs in real-time) are against the rules. What I am asking is: why is that? And all of your responses keep coming back to, in essence, "because they said so!!!" I get that they said so. You can keep posting it as though it is some revelation, but it's not. I've never said otherwise.

What I would like to see is one of you -- any of you -- put forth a rational explanation for why the lines are where they are. And to do it without using "because MLB said so!!!" as a response.

Explain to me why it is perfectly OK for a runner at second base to steal a sign and relay it to the batter, but it's not OK for a camera 300 feet away to do the same thing. Same exact fundamental activity seeking the same exact result, but one is "part of the game" while the other is "OMG THEY BROKE BASEBALL'S SACRED RULES!!!". Why? Why isn't the proper response "use better signs so they won't be so easily stolen"?

Explain to me why a team can study the video of another team after-the-fact to pick up on tells, signs, etc. ... but it's not OK to do it in real time.

Explain to me why an athlete can adhere to a strict diet, lift weights, take certain approved supplements, etc., and we all think it's great (and in fact would question his dedication if he weren't doing those things) ... but then we find other, similar behaviors to be against the rules. (Actually, a former professor of mine has written several articles on this exact point. e.g., http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com/content/bioethics/art1972.html)

Many of the rules/laws we have in society are arbitrary. Many of them require us to draw lines, ones that we struggle to explain logically. (Why is it OK to grow, harvest, and sell tobacco so that people can smoke it ... but it's illegal to do so with marijuana, at least until recently in some jurisdictions?) What I'm saying is that many of the lines that baseball has drawn are ones that I cannot explain logically as well.
I feel like many of your issues were addressed in my initial post because not once did I say it was wrong just because there’s a rule against it.

As I said, their use of cameras is most similar to having a mic or camera in an opposing team’s huddle during a basketball or football game.

What they were doing is not similar to scouting at all.

If teams knew that other teams were using cameras to steal signs, they would use more complex signs. You seem to think they should always be doing that, but the reality is that coaches don’t disguise their play calls in huddles, because nobody is watching or listening then without the use of illegal devices.
 

AllforOne

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Are you seriously asking the question because you don't know, or are you just playing Devil's Advocate? Because I'm having a difficult time understanding why a clearly intelligent guy like you can't come up with some pretty obvious, rational explanations of your own. If you seriously don't know, and can't figure out an explanation on your own, I'll give one, but I really don't want to waste time wordsmithing an explanation if you're just asking the rest of us to go through some mental exercise.

I mean...you don't see any reason why the defense trying to overhear what a QB is saying in the huddle is tolerated, but using a parabolic microphone on the sidelines to listen in and then relay that to the defense isn't? You can't think of any rational reason why the NFL would tolerate the one but not the other?
Sure, I can come up with the reasons. I'm just not sure I can buy them.

Let's run with your example. Why is it OK for the defense to try to hear the QB's play calls in the huddle ... but if a mike is used, it's off limits? If the answer is "because you can't use technology" ... then why is it OK to use technology to record other teams' games and study them carefully for play calls, tendencies, etc.?

I can understand that at a practical level, everybody can agree it's against the rules, simply because having it otherwise makes it much more of a pain the ass for all involved.

I'm obviously not cutting much ice in this thread, and that's fine. We can let it die on the vine.
 

daddywags

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I think sign stealing and ped use are two different discussions. For sign (or play, in football) stealing I think lines are drawn around technology as it develops. It's correct that if outfield cameras were allowed in real time teams would adjust to compensate, but then so would the technology (and it would slow down the game). Example - once TV feeds became ubiquitous pitchers, catchers and coaches started covering their mouths with their gloves during mound visits. If teams were allowed to use high powered microphones to still listen to those conversations teams would have to develop codes to speak in, like pig latin or some such. All of that would slow down and complicate parts of the game that should be quick and relatively simple. So just draw an arbitrary line and be done with it - most future technology advances will be immaterial.

One other point is that a rule has to be enforceable or it's worthless. Trying to stop runners on second base from signaling signs or film watchers from noticing pitch tips would be impossible. The investigation into a camera in center field and players banging on stuff in the dugout took years, can you imagine how hard it would be to police sign stealing by runners on base?
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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Sure, I can come up with the reasons. I'm just not sure I can buy them.

Let's run with your example. Why is it OK for the defense to try to hear the QB's play calls in the huddle ... but if a mike is used, it's off limits? If the answer is "because you can't use technology" ... then why is it OK to use technology to record other teams' games and study them carefully for play calls, tendencies, etc.?

I can understand that at a practical level, everybody can agree it's against the rules, simply because having it otherwise makes it much more of a pain the ass for all involved.

I'm obviously not cutting much ice in this thread, and that's fine. We can let it die on the vine.
As people, we have to come to an agreement of where the line should be, and then we all adhere to those rules.
Seriously. The answer to your question is because the involved parties agreed to the rules. Saying you want more of an answer than "because the rules say so" is a philosophical topic and I provided some subjects (Towson Debate, Kant) if you want to learn more about it.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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Seriously. The answer to your question is because the involved parties agreed to the rules. Saying you want more of an answer than "because the rules say so" is a philosophical topic and I provided some subjects (Towson Debate, Kant) if you want to learn more about it.
Actually, it's more than that. Ask yourself why there are rules regulating the physical composition of bats. Why not just let every team/player use whatever they want, and may the best technology win?

You can never equalize preparation for a game, and some teams may be better at it than others. But when guys actually step on the field, it should be a test of the skill of those particular players, and the baseball acumen of their manager, as far as is practical.
 

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