Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bowa Was Right About Phillies Stealing Signs (But Tracy Still Has Questions)

"You can wear a vagina on your chest, just don't wear a vagina on your head. You can wear a vagina on your chest, just don't wear a vagina on your head. You can wear a vagina on your chest, just don't wear a vagina on your head." (said with overly demonstrative histrionics)

Thanks to SoSG commenter Jason for pointing out that the Phillies are continuing their low-down dirty good-for-nothing sign-stealing ways, so much so, that MLB has told them to stop the practice (while not punishing them of wrongdoing):

DENVER -- Binoculars in the bullpen? Major League Baseball isn't happy and has told the Philadelphia Phillies to knock it off.

The Phillies insisted Wednesday they weren't trying to steal signs when bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was caught on camera peering through binoculars from the bullpen bench at Coors Field earlier this week.

Manager Charlie Manuel told The Associated Press that Billmeyer was simply watching Philadelphia catcher Carlos Ruiz set up defensively Monday night.

FSN Rocky Mountain, the flagship broadcaster of the Colorado Rockies, showed Billmeyer using the binoculars to peer in on Colorado catcher Miguel Olivo while the Phillies were at bat in the top of the second inning.

It also showed a quick image of Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino in the dugout on the bullpen phone in the top of the second.

"We were not trying to steal signs," Manuel said. "Would we try to steal somebody's signs? Yeah, if we can. But we don't do that. We're not going to let a guy stand up there in the bullpen with binoculars looking in. We're smarter than that." first reported the reprimand from the league, which reviewed video of the matter Tuesday. [...]

It's not the first time accusations of cheating have been lobbed at the Phillies. The New York Mets accused the Phillies of stealing signs through a center-field camera in 2007, and the Boston Red Sox leveled charges against them in 2008.

During the World Series last year, former Phillies manager Larry Bowa said Philadelphia has a reputation for stealing signs.

Bowa, now the Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach, told Philadelphia radio station ESPN 950 there were rumors of the Phillies using a center field camera to swipe signs.

"There's rumors going around that when you play the Phillies, there's a camera somewhere or bullpen people are giving signs," Bowa said at the time. "And catchers are constantly changing signs. That's the rumor. Now, is it proven? No."

Stay classy, Philadelphia. But even though this most recent episode of Philly cheating came at the Rockies' expense, coach Jim Tracy still has a lot of questions (albeit rhetorical questions, in his trademark style of having a conversation with himself):

"But a pair of binoculars staring down the gun barrel of the hitting area? You know what, I don't think any club in baseball that's competing against that team would take too kindly to that," Tracy said. "Now you can come up with all kinds of reasons as to why you had them and what you were doing with them.

"Are we to believe them all? Or is it OK for us to think maybe there might be some sort of competitive advantage that you might be gaining for yourself? And then you start reflecting back on some of the things that have taken place in previous games and it makes you sit and wonder a little bit," he said.

Six sentences, three questions. Do I get tired of hearing Jim Tracy ask questions to himself? I don't think I do. Do I believe this reflects deep-seeded schizophrenia or at the very least multiple personality disorder? I think you have to start reflecting back on some of his comments that have taken place in previous games, and it makes you sit and wonder a bit.

photo from Deadspin files


Kyle Baker said...

We should start cheating, too, if it gets us to two consecutive WS.

Delino DeShields, Sr said...

I miss Philly.