Report: Jack McDowell claims ’80s White Sox, manager Tony La Russa cheated with camera

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18 Sep 1993: Pitcher Jack McDowell #29 of the Chicago White Sox in his wind up during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former White Sox Pitcher and 1993 AL Cy Young winner Jack McDowell has claimed the Sox used a camera to steal signs in the ‘80s, Sporting News reports.

While speaking to WFNZ in Charlotte Friday, McDowell alleged the White Sox installed a camera in the outfield to zoom in on opposing catchers. Additionally, he claimed a light in an outfield Gatorade sign would let hitters know which pitches were coming.

“I’m going to whistle-blow this thing now because I’m getting tired of this crap,” McDowell told WFNZ.

McDowell went on to say the the light could be controlled from the manager’s office and that Tony La Russa, manager of the Sox from 1979 to ’86, was the one who installed the alleged system.

“He was also the head of the first team with people doing steroids,” McDowell said. “Yet he’s still in the game making half a million. No one’s gonna go after that.”

After the 1986 season, the year before McDowell debuted, La Russa left Chicago to manage the A’s. Known steroid users Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco starred for the A’s during La Russa’s tenure.

McDowell told WFNZ that illegal sign stealing has been going on for decades, but MLB, players and coaches allegedly looked the other way.

“Nobody wants to throw anybody under the bus,” he said.

The allegations come during a tumultuous week for Major League Baseball.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Mets manager Carols Beltran all lost their jobs due to allegations the Astros used a camera to steal signs.

McDowell, an excellent starting pitcher for the White Sox, won 20 games in 1992 and 22 in 1993. Because of his efforts in ’93, he was awarded the AL Cy Young Award.

He currently coaches Queens University of Charlotte.


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