Matt Chapman ejected after argument with Angels over alleged sign-stealing

Wednesday afternoon the Angels wrapped up their series with the Athletics (OAK 3, LAA 1) and failed to complete the three-game sweep. The Halos are now a half-game behind the Twins for the second wild card spot.

Although benches never cleared, Wednesday's game featured the Angels and A's exchanging words on multiple occasions. The charge: the A's were stealing signs, allegedly. Third baseman Matt Chapman was even ejected for arguing with catcher Juan Graterol in the fourth inning. Here's the video:

The Angels believe the sign-stealing dates back to previous series, so this is not something limited to Wednesday's game or this week's series. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle explains the situation:

Graterol and Oakland outfielder Mark Canha had exchanged words in the second inning with Khris Davis at second base and Chapman at first, leading to speculation that perhaps the Angels thought baserunners were stealing signs. Home-plate umpire Mike Everitt got between Canha and Graterol, and on the television replay, Everitt can be heard telling the Angels' dugout that there were accusations of stealing signs. One scout at Wednesday's game said he believed the Angels to be stealing signs during the top of the second inning.

When Chapman came up, he said something to Graterol, Graterol sprang to his feet and Everitt immediately separated them, then went to Chapman and had what appeared to be some firm words for him. 

After the game Chapman told reporters that no, the Athletics were not stealing signs, and the team did not appreciate being accused of doing so.

Teams steal signs all the time. All the time. And as long as they keep it on the field and do it the way teams have been doing it for decades, it's fine. That's part of the game. Protect your signs better if you don't like it. Earlier this week the Red Sox were found to have stolen signs using non-uniformed personnel and Apple Watches. That's when sign-stealing crosses the line.

The A's were not accused of doing anything like that. If they were stealing signs, they were doing the old school way, with the runner at second base looking in and decoding the Angels signs. And again, that's fine. That's baseball. And the Angels have every right to be upset. That all said, I can't say I ever remember seeing a player ejected for arguing with another player about stealing signs, like Chapman was on Wednesday. That's a new one.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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