After the Rockies accused Philadelphia of using binoculars to steal signs from the bullpen, MLB checked the video, and sure enough, they issued the Phillies a warning. We don't really see the problem with this.
The Rockies lodged a complaint with MLB after Monday's game, in which Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was seen peering through binoculars at home plate while the Phillies batted in the second inning, and Shane Victorino was spotted on the bullpen phone in the dugout. The Phillies claim Billmeyer was checking out their own catcher, an excuse that doesn't hold water because, well, the Phillies were at bat.
The Rockies are the second team in little more than a week to make this accusation, as the Mets apparently did the same after Johan Santana gave up 10 runs to them earlier this month.
We're not getting our panties in a bunch over this one. You know who else gets a good look at the signs the catcher puts down before each pitch? Everyone watching a TV monitor. There's simply not enough time to spot the signs and relay them to the batter before a pitch, so there's no sense in getting worked up over a bullpen coach doing it. If there's a runner on second base, maybe he can tap his foot or touch his head or whatever to let the batter know what's coming — but that's why they change the signs when there's a man on second.
Still, something about actually using binoculars seems a little untoward. Maybe we should consult the Commissioner of Unwritten Rules.
MLB says Phillies have been warned [FoxSports]