Thursday, May 13, 2010

You See… The Phillies are Just Jerks

So what do you call a team that cheats, and when called out about it, tries to deflect things to bitch about a division rival… one that your team has basically ridiculed for three years?

You call that team the Two Time Defending National League Champions apparently.

So a number of news outlets (including Yahoo Sports,, ESPN and CBS Sports) have reported that The Colorado Rockies accused the Phillies bullpen coach, Mick Billmeyer, of using binoculars to steal signs from their catcher during monday’s game (a 9 – 5 win for Philadelphia). This follows other complaints about the Phillies including both the LA Dodgers and NY Yankees making the same claims during the playoffs last year.

After viewing some videotape, the Commisioner’s Office informed the Phillies that they would not be allowed to use binoculars during games. No one from the Commisioner’s office actually used the word “cheating” or “stealing signs” or “stealing sequences”, but the general concensus seems to be the Phillies have a reputation for this sort of thing.

So, of course, what does Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel do when asked about it?

Why… he attacks the Mets of course. Manuel was quoted saying: “Somebody maybe ought to check the Mets if they did that. 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 sitting there at 17-2 at home and 4-12 on the road, I’d get concerned about that. That kind of crosses my mind… 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… (The Rockies complained) because we beat them… Keep crying. I’m sure if they can steal signs, they’ll steal them. And believe we will, too, if we can get them. Yeah, we will. Legally. If you’re dumb enough to let us get them, then that’s your fault. That’s been in the game for a long time.”

Manuel went on to say that his coach was only using binoculars to check out the positioning of his own catcher during Colorado at-bats. Right… despite the fact that the cameras showed Billmeyer using the binoculars during Phillies at-bats… NOT during the time his catcher would have been on the field playing defense.

Even if you ignore that bit of info and try and forget the fact that television cameras captured outfielder Shane Victorino chatting to someone on the bullpen phone in the Phillies dugout… it doesn’t change the fact that the Phillies manager totally used a baseless accusation towards a division rival to deflect the glare from his own team’s wrongdoing. A runner at 2nd basebase trying to see a catcher’s sign and relay it to the batter is one thing… that happens. A coach using some sort of equipment, be it binoculars or a camera of sorts is plain cheating.

Amazingly yet, there reported that there were whispers of the Phillies doing the same thing against the Mets in the early season series this year when facing Mets’ ace Johan Santana who strangely enough had his worst outing of the year by far that night. “Some people were talking, amongst us, the bullpen coach would come out and hang over the fence when they were hitting,” Rod Barajas said yesterday, according to The Associated Press, regarding Santana’s start. “And then when we were hitting they were sitting back.”

There were complaints about the Phillies using a camera in centerfield and trying to catch signs back in 2007 by the Mets and The Boston Red Sox also.

Ok… so am I the only one who sees a pattern here? Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Victorino… they all seem to be obsessed with the Mets… which makes no sense seeing that the Phillies have won the damn division the last three years. Two of those years the Mets handed them the division on a platter… so maybe they realize they WOULDN’T have won them without the Mets collapse and that bothers them… but in any case… to constantly bring up the Mets in a negative light every time there’s something to be talked about is just plain being a team of jerks.

Hamels has called the Mets “choke artists” and said “we think they always will until they prove us wrong”.

Victorino threw an elbow into Jose Reyes’ chest during a rundown while on the basepaths during a game early last season that should have resulted in Victorino being out at the end of the play. Somehow the ump blew it and called Reyes for obstruction. He was called safe (when he was actually out). Victorino would then score when the inning continued (when it should have been over) and the next hitter hit a homerun. Not only was the bush play bad enough, but after the game Victorino snickered about it and called the Mets whiners.

This from a team that complained non-stop about Jose Reyes “over-celebrating” in 2006 and 2007.

Fact is, the Phillies are a bunch of unlikeable schmucks. They brag, they insult, they seemingly cheat, and when things don’t go their way they whine. Yet, people are supposed to believe the Mets are the “bad guys” and the Phillies are the blue-collar heroes.

Please. Enough is enough. The Mets need to make a stand against this team of idiots. In my opinion, their leadoff hitter needs a plunking in the first inning of the first game the two teams next play. Hopefully Victorino will be leading off.

Rivalry is one thing. Being a fricking ass is quite another. Time to shut the damn Phillies up.

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