New York Mets ace Max Scherzer has made a lot of headlines this year for his performance. After dominating the Yankees on Wednesday night, Scherzer made headlines for his interesting comments about PitchCom. This was his first game using it.
Mets pitcher Scherzer said that PitchCom should be illegal because it takes away the sign stealing element of the game
Pitchers are some of the most paranoid athletes in all of sports. They are always concerned that opponents are picking up on subtle tells that they don’t even realize they’re doing when they throw specific pitches, or that someone is picking up their signs. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen intentional balks with runners on second, just because pitchers think runners are stealing and relaying signs.
Most pitchers and catchers have jumped at the chance to use PitchCom. It’s a simple, easy way to communicate, speed up the game a little bit, and eliminate the chance of an opponent stealing their signs. It’s one less thing to worry about on the mound, so the batteries can just focus on executing their gameplan.
Scherzer said that he takes pride in having a “complex system of signs” and that he has “an advantage over other pitchers” because of that. I hate to break the news, but sign systems are obsolete now. The catcher can push a button and get the information to the pitcher much faster and without any potential mixups now. In fact, if pitchers wanted to call their own games, they could be the ones pushing the buttons and telling the catchers what’s coming.
I completely understand having a system and routine in place, but I really think it would be a good thing for Scherzer to make the adjustment to PitchCom full time. Let’s say the Mets wind up making a move for a catcher like Willson Contreras. He’d have to learn the signs and tendencies of a whole new pitching staff, plus keep producing offensively. Would Scherzer really make him spend time learning a really complex system in the midst of all that and a playoff run?
Ultimately it’s up to Scherzer whether he wants to use PitchCom or not, it’s just surprising to hear a pitcher say they miss potentially having their signs stolen. That was not on my 2022 baseball bingo card.