Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Cubs' Ben Zobrist laughs off Dodgers' allegation of sign stealing

LOS ANGELES — The Cubs' Ben Zobrist said he got a laugh out of Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal's allegation that Zobrist was stealing signs in the eighth inning Saturday.

"I think it's hilarious," the former Rays All-Star said after Monday's workout before Game 3 of the National League Championship Series tonight at Dodger Stadium. "I was not stealing signs. But I appreciate him thinking my baseball IQ is that high."

Grandal told the Los Angeles Times he sensed that Addison Russell was getting help from Zobrist on second base because Russell wasn't swinging at sliders and appeared to be looking for a fastball in a specific location. That prompted Grandal to visit the mound.

"Did we know Zobrist had the signs and was doing something for it?" Grandal told the Times. "Yeah, we did. That's why we do it."

Zobrist said he was merely hoping Russell would hit a ball to the right side of the infield so he could advance to third, adding it's tough to see catcher's signs from second because of the dim lighting at Wrigley Field.

"I guess he used the right word when he said almost all catchers are a little bit paranoid about that," Zobrist said.

Zobrist admitted he has tried in the past to steal a sign, but "it's never worked out."

"You don't want to relay it to the hitter if you're not positive," said Zobrist, adding he's trying to get a sign from the third-base coach and get a good jump when the hitter makes contact.

"Even when I do feel I have time to see if I can catch the sequence, half the time I have a tough time following our own pitchers' sequences (when) I'm playing second base."

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