LG Twins fined for stealing signsA club in the nation’s top baseball league was fined on Friday over its attempt to steal signs.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) slapped the LG Twins with a fine of 20 million won ($18,720), citing a league rule that prevents the relaying of information on pitches from outside the dugout during games. It’s the largest fine imposed on a KBO club in the league’s 36-year history.
Separately, the Twins’ manager Ryu Joong-il was fined 10 million won, a record amount for a KBO manager, for his lack of oversight. The club’s first base and third base coaches, Han Hyeok-su and Ryu Ji-hyun, were each fined 1 million won.
The Twins stirred controversy after Wednesday’s road game against the Kia Tigers at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers (205 miles) south of Seoul, when a sheet of paper on the wall near the clubhouse detailing Kia’s catcher signs for different pitches was photographed by a local news outlet.
The paper said that if the catcher touched his left thigh with his index finger, it signaled a pitch on the inside to right-handed batters. Flashing both the index and middle fingers signaled a curveball was coming. Showing the index, middle and little fingers together was a sign for a slider.
When the photo began circulating online, the Twins admitted that they’d prepared the paper to help runners steal bases.
Trying to figure out the signs of opposing teams is hardly new in baseball, but the Twins were penalized for sharing their information on a physical form that later made the news.
The Twins have apologized and vowed to prevent recurrence.
They also explained to the KBO’s disciplinary committee on Friday that the disputed sheet of paper wasn’t there to give their hitters an edge and said their scouting team had acted on its own to post it on the wall. The league decided that the incident, regardless of the Twins’ intent, caused damage to the KBO’s credibility.