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Are the Phillies stealing signs?

November 2, 2009 |  2:27 pm

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada stopped the game to visit his pitcher six times in the first inning in Game 4, then eight more times in the fifth inning. Posada was roundly booed, the game was reduced to a snail's pace, and everyone wondered why all this was necessary.

Phillies-logo ESPN's Buster Olney offered one possible explanation: "There has long been a concern among visiting teams that the Phillies steal signs from their bullpen and relay them to the hitter." (The Phillies' bullpen at Citizens Bank Park is behind center field.)

In the interview room before Game 5, Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino offered two long responses, talking a lot but never flatly denying his team stole signs. Maybe the Phillies do, or maybe Victorino just doesn't mind if the Yankees think the Phillies do.

"If you knew for a fact that we're stealing signs, then that's a different story," Victorino said. "Obviously, if we're stealing signs, we would be doing better than we're doing now."

He added: "You're trying to say the reason why we're here is because we stole signs. It definitely is an art. If you can get it, why not? But ... you're not giving our team credit for being a good team."

-- Bill Shaikin