Manuel suspicious of Mets' home mark

Updated: May 12, 2010, 8:38 PM ET
ESPNNewYork.com

Rod Barajas doesn't mind stealing signs, as long as it's done the old-fashioned way.

So the Mets catcher didn't hold back when asked to comment on the controversy surrounding Philadelphia Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer, who was caught on camera peering through binoculars at Coors Field earlier in the week.

"I've never heard [of] anything like that happening before," Barajas said after Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Nationals. "I know that they're good at stealing signs, [because] I played there -- the old-fashioned way, which is fine. I'm not going to sit here and say it's wrong that they're doing that. Hey, if they're able to do it, by relaying a sign with a runner on second base, why wouldn't you, why wouldn't you do that? It's gonna be a big advantage."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told The Associated Press that Billmeyer was simply watching Philadelphia catcher Carlos Ruiz set up defensively Monday night.

FSN Rocky Mountain, the flagship broadcaster of the Colorado Rockies who revealed the incident, also showed a quick image of Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino in the dugout on the bullpen phone in the top of the second.

"When you have coaches in the bullpen who are relaying signs -- like you said, I'm not saying that he did it, I don't know what's going on -- but in general, if that's what was happening, I think it's something that shouldn't happen, and it's not part of this game," said Barajas, who caught 48 games for the Phillies in 2007.

"We were not trying to steal signs," Manuel said of the allegations. "Would we try to steal somebody's signs? Yeah, if we can. But we don't do that. We're not going to let a guy stand up there in the bullpen with binoculars looking in. We're smarter than that."

But Manuel was not done.

The Phillies' chief later turned his attention to the Mets, hinting in a CSNPhilly.com report their home record has a suspicious undercurrent.

"Somebody maybe ought to check the Mets if they did that," Manuel said. "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 setting there at (14-7) at home and (4-8) 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."

This week was not the first time the Phillies have been accused by other teams of stealing signs. In 2007, the Mets alleged the the club was using a center-field camera to gain an advantage. The Boston Red Sox also levied charges in 2008.

But Mets pitcher Johan Santana wasn't ready to take the bait Wednesday -- even after being shelled by the Phils in his most recent appearance against the NL champs.

"We won the first game," he said. "And then I just didn't have a good game the day that I pitched ... But I'm not gonna comment on something I don't really know."

ESPNNewYork.com staff writer Kieran Darcy and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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