A's unconcerned about allegations against Jays

TORONTO -- A's players were tuned in to clubhouse televisions Wednesday following a story about the Toronto Blue Jays allegedly stealing opponents' signs.

ESPN The Magazine reported that four unnamed players from an American League team witnessed someone sitting in the center field seats at Rogers Centre last season and signaling Blue Jays hitters on what pitches were coming.

Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos vehemently denied the allegations Wednesday.

A's reliever Craig Breslow said the responsibility is on teams to change their signs often enough that they can't be deciphered.

But he added that when former A's pitcher Ben Sheets got rocked for nine runs last season in Toronto, some players had suspicions.

"It just seemed unusual that a guy with that good of stuff could get hit around (like that)," Breslow said.

However, Sheets had a 4.53 ERA last season, and he pitched much of the season with an injured elbow that required reconstructive surgery.

A's reliever Grant Balfour said he wasn't buying the ESPN story.

"(The Blue Jays) are 30 games back," Balfour said. "If they knew what was coming, don't you think they'd be in first place?"

Toronto actually is 13 games back in the A.L. East.

  • Texas Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson, who starts Friday at Oakland, ripped into A's fans and the O.co Coliseum in a session with Rangers reporters Wednesday.


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    "I hate pitching there," Wilson said, according to ESPN.com. "The mound sucks, the fans suck. There's no fans there. It's too bad because the fans that are there are really adamant, and they're really stoked on the team ... But, you know, some games you go there, and there's like 6,000 people there."

    Eligible for free agency after the season, Wilson added that "you don't have to worry about me signing there after the season. The players on their team hate me."

    In May, Wilson accused the A's of playing "lawyer ball" -- not swinging and letting the umpires decide the game -- after he walked four in a loss to Oakland.

    A's players responded by sending Wilson a baseball that read "From the law office of ..." accompanied by several signatures.

    -- JOE STIGLICH