In the fourth inning of Game 1 of the Red Sox/Rays ALDS, Wil Myers heard something.
I'm assuming he heard "I GOT IT I GOT IT I GOT IT" from an amateur Desmond Jennings impersonator. The RAYS LIVE! host thinks he has an explanation:
Bush League Red Sox yelling "I got it!" in the bullpen.— Barry LeBrock (@BarryLeBrock) October 4, 2013
Say, sounds like somebody broke an unwritten rule! But first we have to figure out if there's any truth to the accusation. There's no definitive way to do it, but here's a GIF from one of the TBS camera feeds:
Inconclusive. But here's what I see, in order:
a) John Doe #1 shielding his eyes from the sun, not yelling
b) Koji Uehara tracking the ball, not yelling
c) Brandon Workman standing there, being a SUSPECT
d) John Doe #2 -- Joel Hanrahan? -- so oblivious to what's going on, he makes the home-run signal on an automatic double
e) Other John Does next to Hanrahan
It's possible that Workman does it. It's possible that someone around Hanrahan does it. But here's what I'd expect to see if a reliever turned an out into a double by trickery: smiles. High-fives. #GotHeeeems. The general mirth and merriment of a scoundrel who knows he got away with something.
There's none of that. And one guy appears to be thinking, "That's a homer right?", which he wouldn't do if one of his benchmates were giggling about the misplay. So I'm going to shift the blame from the bullpen to the fans. You know Marky, Ricky, Danny, Terry, Mikey, Davey, Timmy, Tommy, Joey, Robby, Johnny and Brian Hunting were all back there. One of them had a good idea, and it led to a bunch of Red Sox runs.
Or maybe there was a second shouter from the grassy knoll.
Or maybe Jennings actually mumbled something.
Regardless, it probably wasn't the Red Sox. That's my guess. As such, there aren't really unwritten rules to explore. But pretend it was Workman. What kind of unwritten violation would that be?
There is precedent.
Alex Rodriguez, known dingus, yelled "I GOT IT", or something similar, in a 2007 game. The response was to scorn and shame him. If Dustin Pedroia did it, would the response have been so severe? Probably not, but there still would have been a backlash.
However, every time a foul ball is popped near the opposing team's dugout, Giants announcer Mike Krukow recounts how the other team is likely yelling things like "LOOK OUT FOR THE WHEELBARROW!" It's a given, apparently. He tells this story about a dozen times every year, and because I'm simple, I laugh every time. Seems harmless, and it's definitely amusing.
So if this happened, would this have been an A-Rod, or just a wheelbarrow? I'll split the difference, and err on the side of A-Rod. There's something about affecting the on-field action with subterfuge that is just unseemly. Win at all costs, flags fly forever, and all that stuff. But it seems like something Shane Victorino would try, therefore I'm against it. I'd give the offender a 6 and give his e-mail address to Brian McCann for a stern warning.
But that's not necessary in this case. At least, I'm pretty sure.
Update: Okay, now I'm sure
#Rays Maddon said Myers saw Jennings out of corner of his eye, was no communication issue or phantom calling of ball— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) October 4, 2013
Anybody who thinks the "I've got it" shout that fooled Wil Myers didn't come from the #RedSox bullpen is also being fooled.— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 4, 2013
I just don't know whom to believe!