Phillies Warned by Major League Baseball for Using Binoculars in Bullpen

Major League Baseball warned the Philadelphia Phillies not to use binoculars in the bullpen after one of their coaches was caught peering in at an opposing catcher.

Television cameras spotted bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer using binoculars during the second inning of a game in Denver on May 10 to look toward Colorado Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo as the Phillies batted in the top of the second inning. The Rockies complained to umpires, who told the Phillies to stop, and sent the video to baseball. MLB issued the warning, major-league spokesman Patrick Courtney confirmed in an e-mail.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told reporters yesterday that Billmeyer “absolutely” wasn’t trying to intercept Olivo’s signals to the Rockies’ pitchers.

“In no way were we stealing signs,” Manuel said. “We don’t do that.”

Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president for rules and on- field matters, investigated the accusation and had no conclusive findings, according to CSNPhilly.com.

It’s against baseball rules to use technology, such as binoculars, to steal signs.

The Phillies beat Colorado 9-5 in the May 10 game and fell 4-3 to the Rockies in 10 innings yesterday after a day off due to a rainout.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

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