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Hinch blows whistle, calls signal suspicions 'a joke'

Astros manager AJ Hinch is blowing his own whistle on sign stealing and pitch tipping: He's had enough of allegations about Houston hitters going out of bounds to decipher what's coming at the plate.

Hinch weighed in again Thursday on an issue that won't seem to go away this postseason. He was asked before Game 4 of the AL Championship Series about reports that indicated the New York Yankees suspected the Astros of whistling from their dugout during the opener to communicate pitch selection to their batters. The reports said Major League Baseball investigated and determined Houston didn't break any rules.

Hinch calls it "a joke" and "ridiculous," but also says he understands the gamesmanship. He says there's "nothing bad going on."

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone answers questions during a news conference before Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoFrank Franklin II)

Houston made headlines last year following suspicions of illegal sign stealing when a man associated with the Astros was caught pointing a cellphone into opposing dugouts.

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Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander answers questions during a news conference before Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoFrank Franklin II)

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston. (AP PhotoEric Gay)

New York Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu prepares to take batting practice before Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)