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Intentional balk?

Posted at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2005 by Bob Collins

I don't know if I'm buying it but Indians closer Bob Wickman is telling the Cleveland Indians that he intentionally balked Michael Cuddyer to third in the 9th inning of last night's game.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Wickman said he was concerned that Cuddyer would steal the signs, so he wanted to get him off second. So he went into his windup and stopped, and the balk was called and Cuddyer was sent to third. Problem solved.

So what was Wickman afraid Cuddyer would relay to batter Shannon Stewart, that two of the next four pitches would be in the dirt? Shannon walked and stole second. Why not? Second base was empty.

So the effect of Wickman's genius? Now a single ties the game and you still have a guy on second to steal signs.

But the whole stealing of signs concern was for naught, for if Stewart had stolen Victor Martinez's sign, he might've been able to tell the mighty Matthew Lecroy not to swing at ball 4 up by his shoulder to end the game.

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