PITTSBURGH — First-base coach Daryl Boston’s whistle has gone from a fun thing, to causing a minor ruckus to nothing at all.
Boston’s occasional toots from the dugout could be heard in ballparks all over major-league baseball.
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But no more.
“They grounded my whistle,” Boston said. “They said it was a distraction.’’
“They” apparently is Major League Baseball. Boston said MLB looked into it after an umpire inquired about the use of a whistle in the dugout.
“MLB recently informed us that in accordance with their interpretation of the rules, whistles are no longer permitted in the dugouts during games,’’ White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
Citing an inability to whistle on his own – he went to the extreme of watching how-to videos on YouTube — Boston started using a referee’s whistle to get the attention of outfielders to position them if needed. It escalated to blowing the whistle when the Sox would make a good defensive play.
When the Sox played the Blue Jays in Toronto last month, Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson seemed annoyed by Boston’s whistle. To make his point, he made a whistling motion to Boston when he touched home plate after a home run.
Boston laughed it off, but after the game he said the Sox’ loss that night was “on me.”
Donaldson and Boston exchanged friendly gestures and smiles from across the field the next day, however. Manager Rick Renteria shrugged it off as good fun.
But the fun is over.