Little League World Series: Team Accused of Stealing Signs

Who ever said there is no crying in baseball was wrong!

source: Bleacher Report

Pat Dutton, the manager of Goffstown (New Hampshire Little League team), has accused New England Region champion Barrington (Rhode Island) of stealing signs during the regional tournament, per Tim MacLean of the New Hampshire Union Leader:

“You can see [runners on second base] leaning in, looking in and they’re doing hand gestures to their kid [at the plate] indicating what kind of pitch it is and where it’s located. You can do that in big league ball, but in Little League, it’s unsportsmanlike, it’s dishonorable and it’s disgusting. They did it the whole tournament and got away with it, and now that’s what’s representing New England in the Little League World Series. It’s just a bad look.”

Pat Dutton
Goffstown Manager

Barrington Little League issued a statement to Christopher Gavin of denying the allegations.

“The article in the Union Leader is unfortunate, and its premise false………. We hold our coaches, players and teams to the highest standards, and do not coach or condone unsportsmanlike behavior of any kind.”   

Barrington Little League

Dutton told MacLean he noticed Barrington stealing signs during Goffstown’s 2-1 semifinals victory last Thursday. Barrington came back to defeat Goffstown 6-4 in the regional final, earning a trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

“It’s just frustrating to see teams and kids having to go about it that way when clearly they were playing better than we were. They didn’t have to do that. That’s something these kids don’t learn on their own. That’s something that they’re taught. They’re coached to do that. 
Obviously, the team condones it, they coach it, and, personally, that’s something that I’m completely against. Little League is supposedly against it, but you wouldn’t know it this week.”

Pat Dutton
Goffstown Manager

Little League has a rule prohibiting sign stealing. Umpires who notice it taking place are supposed to eject the players and coaches involved. No ejections occurred in either Barrington-Goffstown game, so it appears the umpires did not feel they had sufficient evidence to back up Dutton’s allegations. 

L Little League Sign Stealing Kerfuffle

Calamity Jane