Skip to main content

Philadelphia Steal Company?

Major League Baseball issued a warning on Tuesday regarding accusations that Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was stealing signs during Monday night's game against the Rockies in Colorado.

The concern over the situation was sparked when Billmeyer was spotted using binoculars from the Phillies' bullpen while the Phillies were at bat. Accusations from the Rockies stated that Billmeyer was watching the catcher's signs to the pitcher and relaying tips to the Phillies' dugout via telephone.

The statement from MLB stated, "We found the evidence inconclusive on what was being done, but we have spoken to the Phillies about the situation, and the umpires have been told to be on full alert as to what is going on."

According to Fox News, the Metropolitans are believed to have also filed a complaint about the Phillies, after they mopped the field with Johan Santana on national television two weekends ago.

The incident in Colorado was brought to light after the Rockies telecast showed footage of Billmeyer peering toward the infield with binoculars and a clip of Phillies lead-off batter Shane Victorino speaking on the phone with the Phillies' bullpen.

Only the use of electronic technology is against the rules when attempting to steal signs. Natural means are not banned. Binoculars, while not electronic, come close to crossing a line in regard to these regulations.

Annually, there are accusations made by Major League teams over the possible use of cameras and scoreboard lighting at various ballparks to assist with stealing and relaying signs. Stealing signs is part of the game. If a baseball team, at any level, fears having their signals jacked, they should develop their own methods to further complicate or change their signs, in order to keep them a mystery to their opponents.

The Phillies have long been suspected of potentially using improper means to steals signs. The Metropolitans reached out to MLB back in 2007, when former Phillies Marlon Anderson and Jeff Conine played in New York and reportedly relayed information about the Phils' methods of swagger jacking. During the postseason last year, Larry Bowa, the Dodgers' third base coach and former Phillies player & manager, spoke out about rumors that the Phillies were using cameras and possibly their bullpen to steal signs and relay them to the players.

Philadelphia's focus on sign stealing could be fully attributable to the Phillies current manager Charlie Manuel, who managed and coached with Cleveland in the late '90's and early 2000's. In 1999, the Red Sox accused the Indians of stealing signs via illegal methods. Red Sox manager Jimy Williams and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, who would both later coach with the Phillies, were adamant that Cleveland was stealing signs, when they took a 2-0 series lead on Boston, in the best-of-5 Divisional round of the playoffs. Boston would bounce back and win three straight to advance in the postseason.

Manuel denies any connection to sign stealing methods, inappropriate or otherwise, but he does like that fact that his team effects the opposition's frame of mind the way it does, as Philadelphia's adversaries often worry about the Phillies, then scramble to adjust and change their own signals.

No illegal activities by the Phillies have ever been discovered, in regard to stolen signs, despite a surprise visit from an MLB official that followed the Metropolitans' whiny complaints in 2007.

Sign stealing is a lost art. The practice was commonly accepted by old-schoolers, but these days finger pointers would rather assume the worst and accuse teams of cheating than give them credit for picking a third base coach's or a catcher's pocket in a fair manner.

Here is some advice for teams who complain about such things...part of the game is developing signs and alternatives to those signs. Sign sequences should not be easy to translate, so, if your signals are stolen with ease, it's your own fault. If you fear your signs are stolen, use an alternate method. If you're still worried, talk to Cal's head baseball coach David Esquer...maybe he could help.

-------------------------------

Reminder- today is PhoulBallz Phillies Wednesday on The Shore Sports Report. Tune in to hear me talking Phillies baseball with Joe & Mike around 3:20 pm today on WOBM AM 1160 and Fox Sports 1310 AM in New Jersey. You can also listen to the show live online by clicking this link.

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl