Tagged: Sign Stealing

Phillies Sign-Stealing Bandwagon Grows

The Marlins hop on board

UPDATE: The link to the Miami Herald story.

Update to Phillies’ Sign Stealing Story

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
 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
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
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.

Sign Stealing Phillies?

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


According to the unwritten rules, this is never okay.
(It’s also prohibited by the written rules, which is why the league stepped


The specific accusation points at bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer, alleging that he
trained his lenses on Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo;
Phillies center fielderShane Victorino was subsequently seen on the bullpen
phone, ostensibly receiving stolen signs to relay to the Phillies hitters.


Ringolsby reported that the New York Mets might have made
a similar accusation after the Phillies battered Johan Santana for 10 runs in 3.2 innings on May 2.


The league called the evidence “inconclusive,” but has
warned the Phillies and alerted the umpiring crew to pay close attention to the

‘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.”