Tejada and Cruz offended by tipping pitches accusations
Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada and first base coach Jose Cruz said Monday they were offended by the accusations made Sunday by Pirates reliever Matt Capps, who accused Tejada stealing his signs through communication with Cruz.
Tejada and Capps got into a shouting match in the ninth inning Sunday after Tejada popped out. Capps later told reporters he through Tejada was getting signs from Cruz.
“Not in the 13 years I’ve been [first base coach] or the 30 years I’ve been in baseball,” Cruz said. “I’m offended, yes. I don’t know how that guy got the idea that I gave the signs to Tejada.”
Tejada said he doesn’t need to steal signs to hit.
“When I do that, I’d prefer not to play the game,” he said. “I’m the kind of hitter that it doesn’t matter where the pitcher throws, I go up there for any pitch. I don’t think I’m going to need the signs from nobody to hit. I think it’s very disrespectful for that guy to say that ‘Cheo’ gave me the signs.
“He said that he gives the signs to the Latin players, and that’s not good. That’s not good because he disrespects one of our coaches. And I think ‘Cheo’ didn’t look good. I think the people are going to think ‘Cheo’ do that for real, and that’s not true. We don’t do that here.
“We’re professionals here. We play the game right. This team never tries to fight nobody. It’s a team that just plays the game right way. For him to do that is disrespectful because I don’t think this team needs that to play this game.”
Astros manager Cecil Cooper, a good friend of Cruz, took up for both men.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” he said. “We don’t do stuff like that. We’re good sports. That’s not the way we play. It makes it worse when he mentions Tejada. These guys are totally pros. They’re pro’s pros. I thin kit’s totally ridiculous.”
Cruz said Capps should have produced some evidence before he made accusations.
“I don’t know why he said something like that,” Cruz said. “When you said something like you have to have to some proof somebody gave the sign to somebody.”
Stealing signs, Tejada said, wouldn’t be much of a help anyway.
“Even if a pitcher tells the hitter what’s coming, he still has to hit it,” he said. “For somebody to think about it is really immature. In baseball you don’t need somebody to tell you what’s coming. You got to hit the ball in the sweet part of the bat.”