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Javy Baez sounds off on MLB restrictions on in-game video: ‘To be honest, it sucks’

“I’m really mad that we don’t have it, because to be honest, with all due respect, we didn’t cheat,” Baez said.

The Cubs’ Javy Baez is not happy with MLB’s in-game video restrictions.
The Cubs’ Javy Baez is not happy with MLB’s in-game video restrictions.
Aaron Doster/AP

When Major League Baseball restricted in-game video access for teams in an attempt to cut down on sign-stealing after the Astros cheating scandal, chances are it didn’t expect some of the fallout from the decision. Who wasn’t in favor of stopping opponents from stealing signs during games?

But hitters around the majors are feeling the effects of not having those video feeds to look at their previous at-bats or get a glimpse of a new pitcher entering a game — especially in a shortened season when players already are struggling to find their rhythm at the plate.

“To be honest, it sucks because I like to make my adjustments during the game,” Cubs shortstop Javy Baez said Monday. “I watch my swing. I watch where the ball was, where the contact was. And I’m mad. I’m really mad that we don’t have it because, to be honest, with all due respect, we didn’t cheat. We’re not cheating, and we have to pay for all of this. It’s tough.

“It’s a short season, and it’s all this crap that we don’t like, but I know a lot of players are struggling. A lot of stars are struggling, and I’m just one more. But the way that it is, that’s not the way we play baseball.”

Baez has yet to find his normal level of production this season. He has a .205/.246/.365 slash line with six homers and a 32.9 percent strikeout rate.

While he has been the most vocal Cub with regard to the video feeds, he isn’t the only one unhappy about it.

“I definitely think that’s something that’s a little bit overlooked, is not being able to have the video in our game right now,” left fielder Kyle Schwarber said. “Because that’s key for some guys to be able to go back and look at where their swing is and look at any kind of key that they want to look at, to be able to take into their next at-bat. I think now we’re going by feel, and we’re trying to be able to pinpoint it without, obviously, the video and just go out there and compete.”

MLB hasn’t said whether the mandate will carry into next season, but expect players to fight against it.

“It’s hard to get up in front of [reporters] and make excuses,” manager David Ross said. “I don’t think a lot of guys want to do that, so they’re trying to just take ownership of their at-bats. [Javy] is frustrated. . . . I just feel like there’s elements to a season and a baseball game that we all use as tools, and when [you] start taking some of those [away] that you feel are a big part of your success, it’s frustrating.”

Baez was more adamant.

“I need video,” he said. “I needed to make adjustments during the game. It doesn’t even matter who’s there to watch us. It doesn’t matter if we have all the police that MLB wants to send over here. We need video back, and I’m one of the guys. I’m going to keep trying to bring it back because we need it and I’ll make adjustments with it.”