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Vernon Wells laughs off charge that Blue Jays stole signs

August 10, 2011 |  3:13 pm

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Angels outfielder Vernon Wells (pictured above) shook his head at what he perceived was the absurdity of the question. No, he said, he never had paused during an at-bat last year to see if a man wearing white was raising his hands.

An ESPN story Wednesday alleged that the Toronto Blue Jays have stolen signs for more than a year, stationing a man in the Rogers Centre bleachers who would lift his hands to signal an offspeed pitch was coming but do nothing before a fastball. The Blue Jays have denied the allegation.

"It's pretty funny," said Wells, who played with Toronto from 1999 to 2010. "There's always a conspiracy somewhere."

Wells was cited in the ESPN story as one of several Toronto hitters, including home run champion Jose Bautista, to perform much better at home last season than on the road. Wells hit .321 with 20 home runs in Toronto, .227 with 11 home runs on the road.

The Blue Jays traded Wells to the Angels in January. He began play Wednesday batting .200 with five home runs in Anaheim this season, .219 with 11 home runs on the road.

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-- Bill Shaikin

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire

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