Former Houston Astros catcher Evan Gattis revealed details about the team’s sign-stealing cheating scheme during the 2017 season in a series of tweets Monday.
The deluge of posts began with an innocuous 2 a.m. tweet celebrating Easter. Gattis later responded to a fan noting that he had seen two of Gattis’ 11 games in left field in 2015.
“I can guarantee I was terrified and probably on a performance enhancing drug both times,” Gattis tweeted, in response to the fan tweeting him about seeing him play left field. Gattis mentioned later that many players, including left fielders, use the amphetamine Adderall.
That tweet at around 2:56 a.m. prompted other night owls to ask Gattis about the 2017 sign-stealing scandal, mainly about how many times he heard a trash can banged to alert him about what pitch was coming.
Gattis said it depended on the pitch — before confirming that there had been a bang for his home run against former New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
Gattis even specified that the signal had been, according to his recollection, a “back door cutter slider.”
That shot opened up the scoring for the game, and the Astros won the AL pennant on their way to their now-controversial 2017 World Series title.
After tweeting back and forth with other users over the nature of racism, Gattis went to sleep at around 5:45 a.m., only to begin dishing more dirt later Monday.
On Monday afternoon, Gattis responded with another reply, asking if the cheating extended into the World Series, where the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gattis said, that while the Dodgers had mostly caught wise and used multiple signals to throw off the trash cans, Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw’s pitches were still relayed.
“I remember knowing what was coming against Kershaw. As a team we swung and missed a handful of times only against him,” Gattis tweeted.
In a since-deleted tweet, Gattis also mentioned that the Astros knew what Yu Darvish would throw, albeit while he was a Texas Ranger before his 2017 midseason trade to the Dodgers.
“The craziest thing about the cheating year is facing a guy like Yu Darvish and getting shut out knowing what’s coming,” Gattis noted.
Within the Astros clubhouse, Gattis was himself a proponent of the trash can cheating system, he tweeted, but also admitted that the group psychology helped entrench the practice.
Gattis compared it to the Milgram experiment at Yale, wherein participants were ordered to counteract their consciences and administer electric shocks. Gattis also claimed, however, that the “good teams” in 2017 all had sign-stealing systems, including the Dodgers.
Finally, Gattis addressed the long-running theory that the Astros’ sign stealing extended to the use of under-the-jersey buzzers. Gattis said that, if they were used, they were “smart enough to not tell me.”
In regards to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who had been accused in particular of using buzzers, Gattis said that they would go against Altuve’s style as a reactionary hitter.
Gattis signed off at 11:41 p.m. Monday, writing that “it turns out I say stupid stuff from time to time. Nite .”
Although Gattis noted he had been drinking early on Monday morning, he did not say what prompted him to confess these details on Twitter.