Now I’m a Mets fan (shocker!). Therefore, it is programmed in to me to not like the Phillies or anyone managing, coaching, running, or associated with the organization. But come on, Charlie – you make it too easy to dislike you! The interwebs are abuzz with accusations of the Phillies stealing signs on Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies. They caught bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer with binoculars, on camera. Not a smart move. And yes, I’m sure it’s annoying to be under the heat lamp and have these accusations firing at you from all directions. But do you know what the lowest thing Charlie Manuel could have possibly done? Turn the blame and attention to someone else. And who might he have singled out?
That’s right. My Mets.
Charlie Manuel, you make little boys cry.
The latest on the ‘Did the Phillies steal signs or not – 2010 edition’ saga, asshat Manuel decided that the heat needed to transfer elsewhere, and was quoted yesterday, stating that “Somebody maybe ought to check the Mets if they did that. 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 (stuff). 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.”
Ok. Not really a valid point. First of all, and I’ll be one of the first people to point this out, the Mets kind of suck. We are inconsistent as all hell. Need I remind everyone about the 7 game lead pre-playoffs that was somehow blown? Anyways, teams historically do better at home than on the road, and we’ve only had half as many games away as it is. So why Manuel feels the need to point fingers, I do not understand. Plus, this is not the first time they’ve been accused of this, so they really should just shut up and say oops, our bad, no more binoculars.
After poking around to see how others weigh in on this story, I couldn’t help but laugh. Supposedly after Billmeyer was done with the binoculars, Victorino was on the phone with him (possibly getting advice on how to hit). Did that happen? Who knows. Supposedly he was watching the catcher, Ruiz, set up. Pardon, but why does he need to know what Ruiz is doing? Why aren’t all bullpen coaches as concerned with their catchers? A theory that really got me though came from the Rays’ manager Joe Maddon – Billmeyer was likely using the binoculars because he’s a single guy and probably had his eye on some ladies.
Let that soak in for a second.
Yeah. I’ll buy that. He had binoculars – not to spy and steal signs – but to check out ladies alllllllll the way from the bullpen to home plate. Right. Here’s a Phils fan for you to check out, Mick. Crazy Susan Finkelstein.
Also, when Manuel was first confronted during the game itself, he denied knowledge of anyone having binoculars (of course he did), then immediately acknowledged that it was not okay to have them. How do you not know, as a manager, that one of your coaches might be pulling something that could potentially get your club into trouble?
Manuel’s defense kind of kills me – “We were not trying to steal signs. 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.” Um, no, you’re not smarter than that. You’ve been busted before by the Bo Sox, and Larry Bowa even admitted to it in ’07, saying they were good at it. Plus, maybe that was part of their master plan – make it look super obvious – that way, we can act like there’s no way we were stealing signs because why would we do that with a guy sitting there using binoculars so obviously? Maybe, maybe not. I won’t give them that much credit for having thought that out that thoroughly.
Bottom line – stealing signs is going to happen. It’s ‘part of baseball’. But if you get caught, don’t be a douche and throw the heat on your main rival. You don’t exactly have a good case for yourselves, nor do you have a good case against the Mets. Just suck it up and tell your bullpen men not to be so obvious. Or at least not be such horny pervs.
*Please note that the title of this article is my attempt at being nice. I could have gone the more appropriate route with “Charlie Manuel is a (something that rhymes with stick)”, but I went the slightly higher road and pointed out the obvious. He is a grumpy, grumpy old man indeed.