NLDS Game 2: Yes, Rich Hill's dugout sign was illegal

LOS ANGELES — Normally it’s the job of the scoreboard operator to get the home team fired up by flashing hokey sayings to the crowd during key spots in baseball games.

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Rich Hill decided to take things into his own hands on Saturday night during Game 2 of their National League Division Series game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After a rocky start where Hill walked three and allowed two earned runs in four innings, the lefty starter emerged in the dugout during the bottom of the seventh inning with a cardboard sign that read, “Make Some Noise.”

One problem, though.

It’s illegal to have signs in the dugout — something Hill learned from Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren after the fact.

“I was trying to get the crowd into it a little bit more,” Hill told Spectrum SportsNet. “[Hyun-jin] Ryu said it was a little subdued atmosphere, so he wanted to see everyone get into it a little bit more. Sign worked for a little bit and then found out it’s not quite allowed in the dugout. We wanted to get everyone into it and it was just all in good fun.”

Not only are signs illegal in the dugout, fans are also prohibited from having them in the stands, according to the Dodger Stadium security guidelines:

The following items are prohibited from entering the stadium:

Weapons, regardless of permit
Cans, thermoses and glass bottles
Broken factory sealed beverage containers
Beverage containers larger than 1 liter in size (only 1 liter bottles or smaller of non-alcoholic beverages, with an unbroken seal, are permitted)
Alcoholic beverages
Purses, bags or backpacks larger than 16x16x8 inches
Hard-sided coolers
Brooms, poles and sticks
Beachballs and inflatables
Baseball bats
Banners, signs and flags
Use of laser pointers
Noisemakers, musical instruments, whistles, air horns and boom boxes
Pets (Except for service animals or during specific promotions)
Wrapped packages
Professional photographic tools or equipment (tripods, monopods and lenses longer than 6 inches)

Following a couple of minutes of Hill playing the role of Flavor Flav as the Dodgers hype man, the cardboard sign disappeared. It got the job done as Andre Ethier would go on to walk, loading the bases with one out in a 7-5 game. Chris Taylor would ground into a fielder’s choice to score a run to make it 8-5 and provide more insurance for Kenley Jansen and Co. in the bullpen.

No word on whether Major League Baseball will fine Hill for the sign, but the 37-year-old now has another chapter he can add to his roller coaster baseball career.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill fires up the crowd during the seventh inning of Game 2 of baseball’s National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (AP)