Phillies Deny Stealing Signs (Again)

mick.JPGIt seems every year somebody accuses the Phillies of stealing signs, doesn’t it?

“Every year,” Shane Victorino said. “Every year we’re accused of cheating somehow.”

The latest accusation: The Rockies complained to Major League Baseball that Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer used binoculars from the visitor’s bullpen in center field Monday to help relay signs to Phillies hitters.

MLB issued the Phillies a warning.

“Absolutely no,” Charlie Manuel said of the accusations. “Absolutely (bleeping) no. Absolutely not.”

Rockies manager Jim Tracy strongly disagreed.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s out of line,” he said. “It’s one thing in my opinion to go out and play a club as tough as you can possibly play it within the framework of the way they’ve structured things to be done. And cheating, until you get caught, nobody says that you don’t explore something like that. But if you’re cheating and you get caught, you know what? Then you’d better do something about it. That’s my reaction to that.”

A report said the Mets might have complained about the Phillies stealing signs earlier this season, but the Phillies and MLB are unaware of it. But the Mets have suspected the Phillies of stealing signs for some time. They formally complained to MLB in 2007, saying they use a camera in center field to help relay signs to hitters at the plate.

Manuel got fired up when the Mets were mentioned.

“Somebody ought to check on the Mets if they did (complain) because their … home record is out of this world and they’re losing on the road,” Manuel said. “That’s a good indication sometimes, if you want to know about signs and (stuff). When I see somebody is 17-2 at home and 4-12 on the road I kind of get concerned about that. That kind of crosses my mind.”

The Mets are 14-7 at home and 4-8 on the road.

So why do so many teams think the Phillies are stealing signs? Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa, who coaches third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, said during the 2009 World Series that teams suspect the Phillies of stealing signs at Citizens Bank Park using a center field camera.

“Because we beat them,” Manuel said. “That’s why. What the hell? Keep crying. I’m sure if they can steal signs they’ll steal them. And believe we will, too, if we can get them. Yeah, we will. Legally. If you’re dumb enough to let us get them then that’s your fault. That’s been in the game for a long time.”


Credit to @phylan for the screen grab.

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!



Tracy is an idiot. Stealing signs isn’t cheating, it is a time-honored practice in baseball. If you are not trying to steal signs you aren’t tring to win.

This is the dumbest thing ever. You want the view from center field? TURN ON THE TV! The broadcasters are “stealing signs” for chrissakes. Play ball.

That’s telling ’em Charlie!

The Mets are in a tizzy over this. Nothing like a little paranoia to spook the opposition.

They should hand out binoculars to everybody in the bullpen the next time they go to Bankrupt Bank Field in NY.

How do we know Billmeyer wasn’t scopin’ out a hot chick in the stands behind homeplate?
He may have been tracking pitches; there’s no law against that. If they saw his lips moving he was probably talking to whoever was writing down the pitches…
If they suspected it, they could have changed signs and watxched if it had any effect on the Phils’ hitting.
Think about it, every TV camera has that angle. Why would you sit in deep center field with binoculars when you could relay the same signs on TV without anyone seeing you? I suppose there is a delay in time between when the pitch is called and when it’s thrown.
Do the Phils have earpieces in their helmets? Or can they see Billmeyer signal through that fence 400+ feet away?

Muleman & Erichh1 took the words right out of my mouth. first of all, if Billmeyer was just trying to figure out what signs they use, the TV would be a much easier way of finding that out. And in order for him to be relaying signs to the batters, the batters would need binoculars too so they could see what he was telling them! Or they’d have to have speakers in their helmets. Cause there’s no way they’re watching him for signs 400+ feet away AND watching the ball! Charlie’s right – they’re crying cause we beat them. And now Tracy’s crying because Charlie called him on it. And the Mets just cry about everything! Francoeur is whining now about the Toronto games have been moved to Philly, giving Philly a “3 game advantage!” They’re just looking for reasons to blame when the Phillies beat them all and become world champs again this year!

players on the basepaths stealing signs and relaying them into the batter is legal and part of the game. Stealing them from the outfield using cameras, binoculars, or even handsignals from the stands is against the rules. The phillies are cheaters. Sorry, phils fans, but that’s the cold, hard truth.

yeah! tell them all that Charlie!!

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