The conflict seems to have started because of a speck of dirt.
When he steps to bat, Oakland Athletics outfielder Mark Canha likes to pick one piece of dirt at his feet on which to focus. It serves as his cue to get his eyes ready for the baseball about to hurtle his way, to set his strike zone and approach.
Early in their 3-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon at an empty Oakland Coliseum, the Angels interpreted Canha’s routine as an attempt to glean their pitch-calling signs. This was not some high-tech system involving members of several levels of the organization, as the Boston Red Sox have reportedly employed this season.
This, the Angels thought, was far simpler, as...