Justin Turnbow of “The Baseball Codes” seems just as unimpressed as I am with Charlie Manuel’s defensiveness and bluster regarding the sign-stealing story:
Another statement that
didn’t hold much water came yesterday, when Phillies manager Charlie
Manuel opted to
go on the offensive and accuse the Mets of vague improprieties.
“Somebody maybe ought
to check the Mets if they did that,” he told the New York Daily News,
possibly in retaliation for the Mets leveling similar accusations
against the Phillies in
2007. “Their (—ing) home record is out of this world (14-8), and they’re
losing on the road (4-8). Sometimes that’s a good indicator of getting signs
and (crap). I’m not accusing them, but you look at that and–damn. We’re about
the same home and road. I’m just saying their record is much better at home and
they hit better.”
It’s nice that the
Phillies are equally dominant at home (10-6) and on the road (10-7), but it
must be pointed out that the recent controversy came on
the road. It takes a special kind of chutzpah to pull that off, no
matter what the Phillies’ actual intentions might have been.
Between Colorado, last
year’s World Series and the 2007 Mets, it might be time for the Phillies to
give it a rest.
You know, just in case
they’re doing anything improper.
FOX Sports reported today that the Phillies have been warned for stealing signs by using means other than the naked eye. While stealing signs has a very long history in the game, the use of technological means is considered to be a violation of the “unwritten codes” of baseball as Jason Turnbow, author of the awesome blog and book The Baseball Codes argues:
Phillies, if one believes the rumors, were using binoculars to aid their
‘Duk, at Big League Stew, also has a report, one including a picture of the alleged binocular usage.
Surprisingly–or not–Phillies’ manage Charlie Manuel denies the charges. Here is Craig Calcaterra’s short take on Manuel’s denial.
But Manuel, in the story Calcaterra links to (at CSNPhilly.com), appears much more defensive than Calcaterra’s post lets on, pointing fingers like crazy and seemingly engaging in the same sort of “but the other did it first” rhetoric that politicians seem to have mastered for those occasions when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar:
The Rockies aren’t the
first team to wonder about the Phillies. In 2007, the Mets complained about the
Phillies possibly using a camera to steal signs at Citizens Bank Park. Watson
traveled to Philadelphia to investigate but found no signs of impropriety.
The mere mention of the Mets got Manuel going.
“Somebody maybe ought to check the Mets if they
did that,” Manuel said. “Their [bleeping] home record is out of this world and
they’re losing on the road. Sometimes that’s a good indicator of getting signs
and [crap]. I see somebody setting there at (14-7) at home and (4-8) on the
road, I’d get concerned about that. That kind of crosses my mind.”