Hopefully Oscar Marin took Ray Searage's notebook on sign-stealing before replacing him as Pirates pitching coach.
In a recent interview with MLB Network on SiriusXM, Searage discussed the drastic measures he took when the Pirates had to face the Astros — even if his guys thought he was a little cuckoo in the process.
"To tell you the truth, what we did to combat when we would go into Houston — because we had heard all the rumors and everything, and guys thought I was Petey Paranoia and stuff," Searage began. "And I go, 'No, this stuff happens. It goes on. OK? If you're really naive that you don't think it does, then you got a problem."
The Pirates played the Astros in a three-game series at Minute Maid Park from June 25 - 27 last season, taking the series, 2-1. To hear Searage tell it, the team's preparation for the Astros' sign-stealing absolutely played a part in those victories.
"So all we did was, [former manager Clint Hurdle] came up with the idea, like, OK, let's have a meeting in the hotel and go, do the advance with the pitchers and the hitters in the hotel," Searage said. "And we did that. Then we also implemented, too, that we needed to whisper in the dugout or hold your glove up to your face because every inning we'd change the signs."
While this might sound like some Joe Rogan/Eddie Bravo-level conspiracy at the time, we've obviously learned since then that Searage's concerns were 100 percent legitimate. He looked into it, and it paid off for the team.
"We had three sets of signs when we went into Houston," Searage said. " ... So that's what we did. We kept it quiet that way. We ended up taking two out of three. And that game that Gerrit Cole [pitched], man, we put him on the ropes a little bit there too. So it's easier to pitch when you got a lead. And we tried to combat that."
Listen to Searage's interview right here:
"Guys thought I was Petey Paranoia."
"We had three sets of signs when we went into Houston."