Phillies Deny Stealing Signs (Again)
“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 FOXSports.com 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.