Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says an ESPN report accusing his team of stealing signs at home is "stupid" and "has got a lot of holes in it." A front page article on the ESPN Web site Wednesday cited four anonymous relief pitchers from an AL team who claimed they saw a man in a white shirt sending signals from the outfield seats to the batter's box during a game in 2010.
According to the article, the man would raise his arms to indicate an off-speed pitch.
Speaking to reporters before Toronto's game against Oakland, Anthopoulos said there was "zero truth" to the allegations, adding that he was upset no former Blue Jays players, coaches or officials were quoted in the story.
"Instead, let's find four players on some other team claiming that they saw the guy in the white shirt and that they saw the UFO flying across the sky, and let's write a huge story and make a big stink about it."
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Anthopoulos challenged his accusers to find video evidence of sign stealing.
"We have cameras everywhere," he said. "Why doesn't everybody go through the footage? Spend a month, spend a year, spend your lifetime, go look for the man in the white shirt. Maybe you'll find someone in a blue shirt or a black shirt. Maybe you'll see a dog. But spend the time, do a little work."
Blue Jays fans and players had some fun with the allegations during Wednesday's game. Several fans in the outfield seats wore white shirts, with one holding a sign that read "FASTBALL." Seated in the bullpen, reliever Casey Janssen fashioned a pair of binoculars out of two paper cups and a roll of tape and wore them around his neck.
Morneau to return Friday
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Wednesday that Justin Morneau will rejoin the Twins on Friday when they open a three-game series in Cleveland. The star first baseman has not played since June 9, when he went on the DL to have surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his neck. In his first five games with Triple-A Rochester, Morneau hit .409 with four doubles.
Reds' Cozart set for surgery
Reds rookie SS Zack Cozart will have reconstructive surgery on his non-throwing elbow, ending his chances of returning this season from an usual injury. The 25-year-old hurt his left elbow while making a tag at second base on July 23. SB Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup Wednesday with an injured left elbow, which was hit by a pitch Tuesday. X-rays showed no damage.
■ Cardinals rookie RHP Lance Lynn was put on the 15-day DL Wednesday, a day after injuring his left side making a pitch, and could miss the rest of the season. OF Matt Holliday was scratched from the lineup Wednesday after injuring his back in the weight room.
■ Brewers LHP Chris Narveson was placed on the 15-day DL Wednesday, a day after cutting the thumb on his pitching hand with scissors while working on his glove.
■ Pirates 1B Derrek Lee was out of Wednesday's lineup with a recurring left-hand injury.