Phillies deny sign-stealing speculation

Phillies deny sign-stealing speculation

PHILADELPHIA -- With typical long-windedness and Southern charm, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel denied the rumor that his team has been stealing signs.

"I can tell you this -- if I can steal signs, I will. I mean, if I can," he said, to laughter, after an 8-6 win over the Yankees in Game 5.

"No, we're definitely not stealing. We don't have their signs and we're not stealing their signs. But we are trying."

The allegations resurfaced in light of excessively frequent trips to the mound by Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Cameras have shown New York calling pitches via a sequence of signs -- typically reserved for when a runner is on second -- even with the bases empty.

Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa, who served in the same capacity with the Yankees and who managed the Phillies from 2001-04, added fuel to the fire on Monday.

"There's rumors going around that when you play the Phillies, there's a camera somewhere or bullpen people are giving signs," Bowa told ESPN 950, a Philadelphia affiliate. "And catchers are constantly changing signs. That's the rumor. Now, is it proven? No."

But the Phillies are having none of it.

"I guess he knows something that I don't know about, obviously," Shane Victorino said before Monday's game. "We play between the lines, and that's what it's about.

"For Bowa to come out and say something like that, if he doesn't know what he's talking about, if he doesn't have cold, hard facts, he shouldn't say something like that. It's just not something that should be said. For you to pop off like that, I'm not happy."

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.