Blue Jays pitcher admits to tipping pitches against Yankees: Report

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New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits his second home run of a baseball game during eighth-inning action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, May 15, 2023.
Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

After all the hoopla surrounding the Yankees possibly doing something illegal in the series opener against Toronto earlier this week, it turns out that Blue Jays right-hander Jay Jackson was tipping his pitches when Aaron Judge hit a solo shot on Monday night in the top of the eighth. 

Toronto broadcasters had caught Judge glaring over into the dugout before the home run and raised questions on air about why he had been doing it out, perhaps hinting that the Yankees were stealing signs. It turns out, according to a report from The Athletic, that Jackson’s grip on the ball was visible to Yankees first base coach Travis Chapman thus tipping his pitch. 

“From what I was told, I was kind of tipping the pitch,” Jackson told The Athletic. “It was (less) my grip when I was coming behind my ear. It was the time it was taking me from my set position, from my glove coming from my head to my hip. On fastballs, I was kind of doing it quicker than on sliders. They were kind of picking up on it.”

Jackson had been sent back down to the minors on Tuesday. He had been working out in the Blue Jays facility when he was sent down and first alerted to the possibility that he was tipping his pitch after he came out of the game on Monday.

“One of the guys told me I might have been tipping my pitches,” Jackson said. “Then the video guy came back later and said, ‘Hey, we might have picked something up on the difference between your slider and fastball. It might have been something those guys were keying off of. Just be conscious of it. You might want to change it up next time.’”

The Jays pitcher wasn’t thrilled that a coach could have been potentially relaying what he was keying up to throw, but he added, “if I’m giving away pitches, that’s on me.” 

The Blue Jays never accused the Yankees of any wrongdoing, though they had complained about how far that third base coach Luis Rojas had been standing outside the coach’s box. There was an increased effort to monitor that situation during Tuesday’s game. 

After Judge struck out in the third inning, there was a brief shouting match between Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker and h Luis Rojas. Walker went to the outfield end of the dugout, yelling and gesturing at Rojas. Major League Baseball had said before the game that they were aware of Monday’s situation and would be monitoring it.

But in terms of possible sign stealing, it’s clear it wasn’t as nefarious as some were trying to make it out to be. 

“If they knew it was coming and he clipped me, (then) he clipped me,” Jackson said. “I’m glad he hit it as far as he did.”

The admission likely won’t stop the social media conspiracy theorists, and perhaps Yankees pitcher Domingo German didn’t do anything to help them either. As the dust was settling on the sign-stealing accusations, German was tossed out of Tuesday’s game after the umpires said that his hand had been coated in sticky substances. 

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