The Blue Jays had some controversy that involved Alejandro Kirk last season, and a similar story almost played out again on Thursday.
According to a tweet from TSN’s Scott Mitchell, Charlie Montoyo had a funny anecdote to share after the game. Apparently Kirk had dropped his PitchCom device, which is the new technology that pitchers and catchers have been using this season to communicate signs. Kirk had dropped this device near the Red Sox dugout during Thursday’s game, and Alex Cora quickly returned it to the Blue Jays.
I’m sure that Kirk would have noticed that he didn’t have the device when he went back out on the field for the next inning, but it’s hard to say whether the Blue Jays would have replaced his device and continued to use the system, or if they would have gone back to the traditional way of calling pitches with finger signals. If they had went with the former and the Red Sox hadn’t returned the device, they may have been able to hear what pitch was coming in the ninth inning of a one-run game.
Montoyo was quick to say that the Red Sox gesture was a classy one, and for the most part I have to agree. However, there are two other variables to this story that make it pretty funny to me.
First, Kirk was the Blue Jay that dropped his pitching cheat sheet last year when they were playing against the Tampa Bay Rays late in the season. There was some controversy when the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier was caught on film picking up the card and taking it back to the dugout. Chances are it wasn’t worth the tempers that flared as a result, but it still brought an interesting wrinkle as the Blue Jays pursued a playoff spot. The fact that Kirk is the guilty party here again just makes me laugh.
The second part of the equation that makes me chuckle is that it was Alex Cora who returned the device. I can’t help but picturing Cora looking down, realizing what was sitting in front of him, and thinking, “Nope, not gonna go there for a second”. Of course, I say this because Cora served a one-year suspension from Major League Baseball after the league punished him for his role in the Astros’ infamous sign-stealing scandal. In this case, I don’t blame Cora for not wanting to play with fire.
In the end the incident didn’t impact the game at all, and it’s nothing more than a funny story. Given the context for both Kirk and Cora in this case, I couldn’t help but laugh.