DENVER -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy, already upset after catching Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer peering at his catcher with binoculars on Monday night, was even more incensed over Phils manager Charlie Manuel's assertion that any complaint that his team doesn't play by the rules is "crying."
"There was a suggestion made that we should stop 'crying,' that we're complaining about it because we got beat," Tracy said Thursday, a day after addressing his team's complaint to Major League Baseball, which resulted in a warning for the Phillies. "We're complaining about it because it's wrong. OK?
"And when I read a statement that [the Phillies] are using binoculars to check our catcher and how he's setting up and things like that, then you should use the binoculars when your team is on defense and not offense. OK?"
Manuel's quote was a general retort. The Mets have complained on multiple occasions that the Phillies have used technology illegally to steal signs at Citizens Bank Park. And Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa said during the 2009 World Series that teams suspect the Phils steal signs using a center-field camera at Citizens Bank Park. Now the Rockies have complained, and MLB has taken action.
"Because we beat them," Manuel said Tuesday when asked about the frequent complaints. "That's why. ... Keep crying. I'm sure if they can steal signs, they'll steal them. And believe we will, too, if we can get them. Yeah, we will. Legally. If you're dumb enough to let us get them, then that's your fault. That's been in the game for a long time."
During his media session Wednesday, Manuel brought up an incident during the 2007 National League Division Series, when the Rockies swept the Phillies in three games. Rockies reliever Manuel Corpas was seen by television cameras splashing water on his jersey before entering Game 1. The Rockies were not disciplined, and Manuel told the media the use of binoculars at Coors was equally benign.
If nothing else, it signals a growing rivalry between the Rockies and the Phillies. The Phillies gained revenge for 2007 by beating the Rockies three games to one in the 2009 NLDS.
"Let's face it, when you play one another for in the Division Series in 2007 and end up playing them again last year in the Division Series, I think it's only human nature," Tracy said. "I think it is a rivalry. That's what ends up starting and beginning what is termed a rivalry, and it can be very healthy.
"I was a little bit disappointed in the way some of the things were worded. I find it somewhat insulting when I'm a part of a group of people where the suggestion was made that we were 'crying.' We don't cry here. I want to make that clear right now. We work very hard. We work within the framework."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.