May 17, 2023 -TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Jay Jackson says he believes he was tipping his pitches when New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge homered against him Monday night.
That at-bat was quickly scrutinized when cameras caught Judge taking unusual glances toward the first-base line moments before Jackson delivered. Many questioned whether someone on the Yankees was signaling to the 2022 AL MVP an indication of which pitch Jackson was about to throw, based on either sign stealing or pitch tipping.
Jackson told The Athletic on Tuesday night that he believes a Yankees coach was able to see which grip he was using while holding the ball in his glove, and that coach relayed the info to Judge, helping him hit a 462-foot home run. Jackson was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, and Toronto recalled right-hander Thomas Hatch from the Bisons.
There is no prohibition on teammates or coaches using the naked eye to study pitchers and relay that info to batters. When the 2017 Houston Astros were punished for sign stealing, it was because they used banned electronics — including live video feeds — to help gather that intel.