The Phillies have been accused of stealing signs. I have no problem with that.
The fact that they were using binoculars is what makes it wrong.
Sign stealing is part of the game. If there’s a runner on second and he can read the catchers signs and somehow communicate that to the batter in time, then good for him. But using outside technology – pretty much anything that isn’t your eyes, ears or body – is what makes it wrong and cheating.
Baseball is a game of physical ability and wits. The pitcher is always trying to fool the batter with an unlikely pattern of pitches, the manager is trying to mix-up the lefty/righty order to force the other manager’s hand when using a bullpen, etc. It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity. A bat, a ball and a glove. Four bases. That’s it.
But the use of binoculars from the bullpen and the bullpen phone to the dugout is cheating. I don’t care if it’s the Phillies, the Royals or the Diamondbacks, my thoughts would be the same on this. It’s part of the game until you start using “technology” in any form.
And another thing, for Charlie Manuel to turn around and start accusing the Mets of stealing signs is both crazy and sad. Your team was just accused of stealing signs – for the second time in two years – and the best you can do is to accuse another team of doing it because of their home record? Just a reminder, Charlie, you were accused of it while at Coors Field in Colorado – not your home park.
Manuel can toss accusations all he likes, but if the team was using binoculars to spy on signs, that’s cheating.
(Aside: Remember Spygate in the NFL? See how strict the league was about that? And now, Brian Cushing tests positive for steroids and he keeps his Rookie of the Year award. Seems like baseball is lax if it involves spying, but strict on steroids – and football is just the opposite.)