Verlander wants MLB to crack down on sign stealing
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander rarely shies away from expressing his opinions, whether it's through social media or the sports media.

On Monday, he took the latter approach to reveal his thoughts on sign stealing in baseball, which, according to him, has reached a new low.

"It's not about gamesmanship anymore. It used to be: 'Hey, if you can get my signs, good for you.' In the past, if a guy on second (base) was able to decipher it on a few pitches, I guess that was kind of part of the game," Verlander said, according to Evan Woodberry of MLive. "I think it's a different level now. It's not good."

The paranoia around sign stealing is one factor affecting the pace of the game, particularly in the Tigers' case. Entering Tuesday's contest, Detroit pitchers averaged 25.4 seconds per pitch combined - the league's second-slowest pace, according to FanGraphs.

"The game comes to a screeching halt when guys get on base, and specifically when guys get in scoring position on second base," he said. "The signs have to be more advanced than they ever were before ...

"Those 1-2-3 innings go pretty quick. It's when guys get on base: Pitchers picking off and stepping off, managers giving signs to the catcher, catcher giving the signs to the pitcher. All these things take place and that's where the lull is. I think there's a lot of extra space in that area we could tighten up."

Verlander wants MLB to crack down on sign stealing
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