"I think it's hilarious," Zobrist said. "No, I was not stealing signs. But I appreciate him thinking my baseball IQ is that high."
Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist denied stealing signs after being accused by Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal says he thought Zobrist was relaying signs from second base during Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday while Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was batting. Los Angeles ended up switching the signs.
"I think it's hilarious," Zobrist said. "No, I was not stealing signs. But I appreciate him thinking my baseball IQ is that high. ... I don't know what he was looking at or what he thought he saw. But really, from second base at Wrigley, it's very tough to even see the signs. It's so dark. All the lights are behind the hitter. ... But I think all catchers are probably a little paranoid about that."
Grandal told the Los Angeles Times that he felt like Russell was looking for a fastball in a favorable location and avoiding sliders.
"Did we know Zobrist had the signs and was doing something for it? Yeah, we did. That's why we do it," Grandal said.
But Zobrist, who is batting .167 in the series, admitted to trying to steal signs in the past.
"I'm, like, trying to read them from back there. But it's just never worked out. ... And that's the thing: You don't want to relay it to the hitter if you're not positive. Half the time I'm not even looking because you're not ready."
The series is tied at one game apiece. Game 3 is Tuesday in Los Angeles.
– Scooby Axson