Results tagged ‘ Jim Tracy ’

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 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.”

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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!

Lee, Phillies Own Game 1

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A couple quick hits from Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies beat the Rockies, 5-1:

  • Cliff Lee became the eighth pitcher in Phillies postseason history to throw a complete game. It was the ninth complete game in Phillies postseason history — Grover Cleveland Alexander threw two in the 1915 World Series — and the first since Curt Schilling threw a shutout in Game 5 of the 1993 World Series.
  • Lee’s stolen base in the third inning is the first by a Phillies pitcher in postseason history. He is just the fourth pitcher in baseball history to steal a base in the postseason: Wild Bill Donovan (1908), Billy Loes (1952) and John Smoltz (1991, 1992 and 1995) were the others.
  • Jim Tracy on Lee : “He got really, really good as the game went on. To the point where by the third inning, I don’t know if he missed a spot.”
  • Lee on pitching in windy conditions. He was asked about getting blown off the mound: “Did I get blown off the mound? … Oh, the wind. I thought you were talking about them stroking me.”
  • Charlie Manuel on Lee’s stolen base: “I thought, what in the hell is he doing?”
  • Jimmy Rollins made a couple nice catches in foul territory. The first came in the third inning against Dexter Fowler and the second came in the seventh inning against Todd Helton. The seventh inning catch was much more impressive because the wind really changed the ball’s direction. “Dexter’s was pretty much routine,” Rollins said. “I practice that a lot actually. The other one reminded me of the one in the World Series (Game 5) just without the rain. Pedro (Feliz) and I were both breaking back like wide receiver and DB. I saw the quarterback get hit and he didn’t, and I retraced the route and came in on the ball.”
  • Jayson Werth has hit safely in 10 consecutive postseason games: (.359, 14-39, four doubles, one home run, three RBIs, eight walks).
  • Carlos Ruiz has hit safely in five consecutive postseason games: .438, 7-16, home run, three RBIs).
  • The Phillies have won eight consecutive postseason games at the Bank.
  • Rollins on the postseason and winning Game 1: “Finally, it’s here. We can finally let the wins actually count for something. You win, it’s one less game you have to win to go to the next round. One down, 10 more to go.”

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