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Victorino: Phils not sign stealing

Philadelphia center fielder was answering accusations made by former manager.

Displayed is a Macy’s ad is on the back of the front section of The Philadelphia Inquirer mistakenly congratulating the Philadelphia Phillies on winning back-to-back World Series baseball titles Monday. The newspaper has apologized to readers for the mistake because as of Monday the New York Yankees hold a 3-1 lead in the series.

AP PHOTO

PHILADELPHIA — Shane Victorino joked he’s not smart enough to steal signs.

And if he was, the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder says he’s doing a lousy job of having success with the inside knowledge.

Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa said in a radio interview on Monday that the team has a reputation for stealing signs — one possible reason the Yankees have held so many meetings on the mound.

“I guess he knows something that I don’t know about, obviously,” Victorino said before Game 5 against the New York Yankees on Monday night. “You know, everybody makes excuses. Everybody is going to find a reason.”

Bowa, now the Dodgers third base coach, told Philadelphia radio station ESPN 950 there are rumors of the Phillies using a center field camera to swipe signs.

“There’s rumors going around that when you play the Phillies, there’s a camera somewhere or bullpen people are giving signs,” Bowa said. “And catchers are constantly changing signs. That’s the rumor. Now, is it proven? No.”

Victorino, batting .200 in the Series, became defensive when asked about the sign stealing accusations. He acknowledged sign stealing was an art, but the Phillies didn’t need to use that sneaky info to advance to the World Series two straight years.

“I’m trying to say, ‘Hey, you’re not giving us enough credit as a team,”’ Victorino said. “You’re trying to say the reason why we’re here is because we stole signs.”

It’s not the first time those accusations have been lobbed at the Phillies. The New York Mets accused the Phillies of stealing signs through a center-field camera in 2007.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said sign-stealing concerns were only one reason for the frequent mound visits

“It could be signs, talking about the hitter, the situation, do you pitch around this guy to get to the next guy possibly, if we get behind this guy what are we going to do?” he said. “There’s a lot of situations.”

PHOTO FINISH: Joba Chamberlain had one heck of a photo finish.

The Yankees reliever was thrilled to celebrate New York’s Game 4 win — he just didn’t realize he was the one credited with the victory.

“It actually didn’t hit me until my sister showed me the picture,” Chamberlain said. “I didn’t even think about it. She took a picture, and she goes, ‘You won in the College World Series and now you won in the World Series.”’

Chamberlain squandered the lead in the eighth inning when he gave up a solo home run to Pedro Feliz that tied the score at 4. The 24-year-old Chamberlain, who pitched for Nebraska in the 1995 College World Series, struck out Carlos Ruiz to end the inning.

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