Miggy, sign stealing? ‘I don’t play that game’

Detroit Tigers

CHICAGO — Miguel Cabrera took umbrage with White Sox second baseman Nick Madrigal trying to tell starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and catcher Yasmani Grandal the Tigers were passing signs during Detroit’s 5-2 victory Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Cabrera made motions and said something toward Madrigal during the sixth inning, with Robbie Grossman on second and two outs in a then one-run game.

“I mean, c’mon, I don’t play that game,” said Cabrera during a Wednesday Zoom session with the media. “You need to [show] respect, you know? You don’t need to show up me, or the runner on second, try to say we’re passing signs from second. Come on. I don’t care why they do it, but they need to stop because we don’t play that game; that’s why I said something to him right away.”

“We knew he was talking to somebody, too,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “Miggy talks to a lot of guys when he plays. It was hard to distinguish what was going on. I didn’t think anything of it until today when you guys asked him the question [about it], and obviously, I got the update.”

Madrigal did not talk to the media prior to Wednesday’s game, which was later postponed due to inclement weather, but White Sox manager Tony La Russa addressed the situation.

“Well, I was aware just briefly during the game. The game dominated everything as far as I was concerned,” La Russa said. “Miguel is a guaranteed Hall of Famer, he’s earned the respect and if he says he’s not getting help from second base, then he’s not getting it.

“But we do encourage our middle infielders to actively be guarding [the signs], because that is a ridiculously popular thing to have to do now, for a long time, whether it’s signs that you’ve learned over your study or tipping location — which is OK, because that’s part of the game. My point is, if Nick was actively defending against that then I’m all for it. But I give Miguel the respect he deserves. If he says he doesn’t get signs then he doesn’t get them.”

Hinch said the matter was never discussed, noting that Cabrera has a big voice and had an opinion.

“You know, I think players should handle that stuff,” Hinch said.

“Everybody’s paranoid about all that stuff right now, but they’re over the limit,” Cabrera said. “We don’t play like that. We respect the game.”

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