Anthony Rizzo: '100 Percent' Certain Cubs Don't Cheat

A sign-stealing scandal has left many wondering how widespread the problem is.

Chris Emma
January 16, 2020 - 1:21 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The fallout of the Astros' cheating scandal in which they used technology to steal signs has resulted in three managers being forced out of their positions and left MLB grappling with how to address a serious problem.

As dramatic as the saga has been, the concept of teams stealing signs to gain a competitive in-game advantage is hardly a surprise to current players such as Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who believes his team has been wronged by opposing clubs cheating in the past.

"One hundred percent," Rizzo said Thursday. "I don't know to that extent. I think in-game stuff, I think everybody will say this as well, getting the edge in the game is totally different on the field. 

"Some of the video stuff that I've heard, obviously it is (true) with the penalties, takes it a little bit too far. MLB has done a good job the last few years to have guys in the clubhouse and all around monitoring it. To be doing it still is not easy, and it's blatantly going out of the way."

The Cubs played the Astros in a three-game series in Houston last season, but Rizzo said he didn't notice the loud banging on a garbage can that was an integral part of the Astros relaying the next pitch to their teammate at the plate. That mode of communication came after the Astros watched a live video feed of a center-field camera on a monitor in their dugout tunnel.

Beyond the Astros and Red Sox -- the two clubs that MLB conducted investigations on -- suspicion lingers that other teams have cheated as well. Rizzo was adamant the Cubs don't operate that way when he was asked, "Safe to say you guys followed the rules?"

"It's 100 percent safe to say that," Rizzo said.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were each suspended by MLB for the 2020 season, then promptly fired by owner Jim Crane. Houston was also fined $5 million and forced to forfeit its first-round and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.

There's a prevailing belief that other clubs are guilty of similar cheating.

"It is disappointing," new Cubs manager David Ross said. "You got to applaud Major League Baseball for doing their due diligence and upholding the integrity of the game. It's super important for our fans, for our players, for our coaches. But I'm glad they did their homework and made some of the decisions that they made."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.