Larry Bowa tells Action News MLB sign stealing scandal is 'black mark' for baseball

Saturday, January 18, 2020

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Former Phillies manager and shortstop Larry Bowa told Action News the sign-stealing cheating scandal involving the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox is a black mark for baseball.

While stealing signs has been a part of the game forever, the use of electric devices and cameras to do it is strictly prohibited.

"When we played it was called gamesmanship, but the way they approached it, and the mannerisms they did it, hitting the garbage cans and the camera in center field and relaying signs. I just think it was unethical the way it was done," Bowa said.

Bowa, who has been around the game for a half century, is all for the increased use of technology for analytics and even replay, but using the replay cameras and monitors to decode signs, he says, is more than just a competitive advantage.

"It's not even close," Bowa said. "If you know whats coming, you still got to hit but it's easier when you know whats coming, believe me."

Baseball has had its fair share of scandals from steroids to betting on the game. Pete Rose has publicly stated this sign stealing scandal is worse than when he gambled on baseball. Bowa does not completely disagree with his former Phillies teammate.

"The only reason I say it might be worse is because of the end result, both those teams won World Series. That's what makes this, a lot higher than everything else that has happened. What they did, this is another level."

Bowa believes the harsh penalties and fall out will prevent other teams from breaking the rules, if not shame on them.