BALTIMORE - The White Sox were dragged into a Toronto Blue Jays controversy about sign-stealing on Wednesday when Jays slugger Jose Bautista told reporters in Toronto that an un-named Sox relief pitcher threatened him while accusing the Jays of stealing signs last season.
"He yelled at me and said, 'We know what you and your teammates are doing. ... Keep it up and someone is going to get hurt," Bautista told the Toronto Sun. "Getting hit is one thing, telling someone you're going to hit them is something else. What if someone gets hit in the head?"
Bautista wouldn't elaborate on who the player was but it appears to be a current or former Sox reliever.
Four unnamed players in an ESPN The Magazine story said they had seen somebody wearing a white shirt in the stands in Toronto signaling off-speed pitches to Jays hitters. The tip-offs reportedly came from one or more persons in the stands in center field at Rogers Centre.
According to the story, there was a confrontation between an opposing team's bullpen and Bautista while he was playing right field. It appears as though it was a White Sox reliever.
"We know what you're doing," the player said. "If you do it again, I'm going to hit you in the [expletive] head."
Bautista denied that the Jays were cheating.
"Yes, they've accused the Jays since last year,'' Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday. "People talk about it. Well, if they're stealing signs, they should be in first place. That's my opinion. It's not easy to do that, you have to be right on time.
"But if they accuse them, it's for a reason. It has to be for a reason.''
Of the accusations, "This is bogus, this is fictitious, this is made up."
Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos denied in a press conference Wednesday that his team is stealing pitches.
"This whole thing is stupid. It's unbelievable that we're sitting here to even talk about this," Anthopoulos said. "There's zero truth to this."
When the Sox played the Jays in Toronto on May 29 this season, Bautista and Sox starter John Danks exchanged heated words on the field after Bautista slammed his bat to the turf when he popped out. Danks felt like Bautista was showing him up.