OAKLAND -- Manager Charlie Manuel needed almost no time to respond to a report in the Boston Globe in which an unnamed Major-League official suspected the Phillies of stealing signs.
Manuel simply pointed to the scoreboard.
"We getting our butts kicked, and we're stealing signs?" Manuel said, referring to the Phillies losing two of three games to the Red Sox last week. "We didn't. Maybe they were the ones who were stealing signs."
The Globe story said that the Red Sox haven't filed a complaint with the league, and general manager Theo Epstein declined to comment.
This is the second time the Phillies have been embroiled in a sign-stealing controversy.
After Philadelphia swept a series from the Mets in late August last season, New York levied an accusation. Bob Watson, MLB vice president of on-field operations, investigated and found nothing.
"They can check us out any time they want," Manuel said after the Mets' accusation. "When stuff comes up like that, it's no big deal. They can sit up there during the game with the [television] camera crew, for all I care."
His stance hasn't changed, though he'd consider anything that would help his team win.
"First of all, we didn't steal signs, but we would if we could," Manuel said, with a laugh. "We'd definitely consider it."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.