Former pitcher Jack McDowell: Tony La Russa illegally stole signs
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

With a cheating scandal spiraling through Major League Baseball this week, allegations from four decades ago are coming to the surface.

On Friday, former big-league pitcher Jack McDowell accused Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa of illegally stealing signs when he managed the Chicago White Sox in the 1980s.

"We had a system at old Comiskey Park in the late '80s. Gatorade sign out in right-center had a light, there was a toggle switch in the manager’s office and a camera zoomed in on the catcher," McDowell told WFNZ 610AM in Charlotte, N.C.

The Cy Young winner added that he's "getting tired of this crap" and is whistle-blowing now.

"Tony La Russa is the one who put it in. He was also the head, the first team of all the people doing steroids. Yet he's still in the game making half a million, you know? No one is going to go after that. It's just, this stuff is getting old where they target certain guys and let other people off the hook."

McDowell's comments about La Russa come during a hectic week for MLB that included the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, and New York Mets dismissing their managers (AJ Hinch, Alex Cora, and Carlos Beltran), and Houston also firing its general manager (Jeff Luhnow), all for their involvement in an illegal sign-stealing scheme in 2017.

Following the Mets firing Beltran on Thursday, new allegations arose regarding Astros players Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman using wires and buzzers under their jerseys to know about pitches ahead of time.

McDowell isn't surprised the sign-stealing news came to light, as everyone in baseball already knows.

"Like the media doesn't know that this all happened, what was going on. Everybody knows, everybody that's been around the game knows all this stuff. Why all of a sudden it became a big thing, I have no idea," said McDowell. "But it's frustrating being on the outside and watching what's going on with the game that I played for so long."

La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979 to 1986 before gaining most of his early managerial notoriety with the Oakland Athletics from 1986 to 1995, winning a World Series in 1989.

The 75-year-old, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a manager in 2014, is currently a senior adviser with the Los Angeles Angels, and he was in the Red Sox front office in 2018 when they won the World Series.

The Red Sox are under MLB investigation for allegedly stealing signs illegally during that season.

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Former pitcher Jack McDowell: Tony La Russa illegally stole signs
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