Veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy said Thursday he knew the Astros had stolen signs a few years ago and explained how long it would take him to fool Houston.
"I knew it would go on like this two years ago," said Lucroy, who played for three AL West teams from 2016 to 2019. told reporters, "I know it came out recently, but everyone in baseball, especially in this division, who played against it, was aware of all of us that the Astros does these things. It was up to us to outsmart them, you might say, which is quite difficult when you have a computer program that breaks its characters. "
Lucroy, who was with Oakland Athletics, the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels at the time, said the teams he played on were forced to change signs on "almost every seat".
"We have actively changed the characters," said Lucroy, who signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox earlier this week. "You had to because they had it – they would forward it to the second base. They also stole it between your legs first. You had a very complicated system. We were very aware of this. It was a challenge. It was a mental challenge to really overcome that. It is easier said than done. It's a shame."
Lucroy said he was happy that this came to light because it was "out of control", but added that once they found out how the Astros had cheated, they could use it against them.
"There were times when they were in every seat and you like how they do it? How does that happen?" Said Lucroy, who added that he never had a knock during the time he played the Astros Garbage can heard, but would not hear it at all. "When we found out what it was like, we had to change the characters a lot, and we did, and the fluctuations actually got worse if we started changing the characters all the time."
Lucroy also said that Mike Fiers, who was the first to whistle The Athletic in November for stealing the Astros logo, informed him about Houston tactics when they became teammates in Oakland in 2018.
This inside information, which Fiers provided, prompted Lucroy to create more complex sign calling patterns to prevent the Astros' fraud tactics. Working with different jugs also required different tactics.
Lucroy said that any additional shield protection measures heavily impacted the jugs.
"[Pitchers] I don't want to sit there and try to think about deciphering your characters and your indicators and all the different things you do, ”said Lucroy, a 10-year-old veteran. “You want to sit there and just worry about the execution. Some people can handle it and others can't. It was very difficult. "
Lucroy said the A & # 39; s had reported their concerns about the Astros to Major League Baseball, adding that the league had spoken to Houston about the A's concerns, but hadn't looked at them "really hard" until Fiers whistled blown.
Lucroy's memory of the A's action is supported by what Oakland General Manager David Forst told The Mercury News about the team that complained to the league before the scandal broke out.
Lucroy also told reporters that there is no easy solution to stop teams from gaining an advantage by stealing signs, and that skeptical new technology that would allow pitchers and catchers to communicate, not from an opposing team would be hurt.
"[MLB has] I've talked about the earbuds and the radio transmitters, but the thing is that someone will get involved, too, ”said Lucroy. "There's a kind of CIA spy out there that someone's going to find out about. I don't know. We talked about it as a union, among ourselves as players, and there has to be something we can do to make it easier for them The NFL do it with their quarterbacks. There has to be something we can do. "