Cincinnati Reds pitcher Norm Charlton says he intentionally threw at Los Angeles Dodgers batter Mike Scioscia in Monday night's game because he believes Scioscia was stealing the Reds' pitching signals.
RTC Charlton said that when he hit Scioscia in the hand with a pitch in the sixth inning, it was no accident, the Cincinnati Post reported yesterday. Charlton accused Scioscia of stealing signs from second base and relaying them to teammates at the plate.
"I threw at him," Charlton said. "I hit him on the arm, but I didn't mean to hit him on the arm. He'll be lucky if I don't rip his head off the next time I'm pitching.
"That's not the way you play the game. If he wants to steal signs when somebody else is pitching and they don't have the guts to correct it, that's fine. But it's not going to happen when I'm out there," Charlton told the Post.
Reds manager Lou Piniella, who admits he stole signs as a player with the New York Yankees, talked to Charlton privately after reading the reliever's comments.
"You can't condone it," Piniella said. "It's just a foolish statement."
* Rene Arocha, the Cuban national team pitcher who defected to the United States in July, may play major-league baseball in the United States, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
Arocha's U.S. agent, Gus Dominguez, said earlier in the day that the commissioner's office has arranged for teams to scout Arocha in a few instructional-league games and then hold a special lottery-style draft. The date of the draft was not announced.
* MARINERS: The King County Council approved spending $200,000 to help buy 200,000 tickets for cash-strapped Seattle's remaining 13 home games. Yesterday's action, approved by a 7-2 vote, was aimed at preventing financially distressed Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan from invoking an attendance-linked escape clause in his Kingdome lease.