Former Mets general manager Steve Phillips had his own sign-stealing situation to he had to take care of — but it was behind the scenes.
Phillips — in an interview on Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s Sirius XM show Tuesday — said it was brought to his attention that former Mets manager Bobby Valentine was trying to use video equipment to steal signs during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“Ed Wade (GM of the Phillies at time) knocks on the window and says, ‘Come here. The camera at the plate between pitches it keeps sort of turning to third base and coming back again. What is that?’ I said, ‘I don’t know let me check.’
“Called down the video room. And my video guy said, ‘Bobby asked me to tape their third-base coach to see if we can get his signs.’ I said, ‘That’s a violation. You can’t do that. If anybody asks you to do that again, you tell them no.
“I went down to Bobby (Valentine) afterwards. And he said, ‘Oh, OK, then we won’t do that anymore. We didn’t do it.”
Phillips went on to say he thanked Wade for pointing it out and that the Mets wouldn’t do it again. He also added that he put a call in to the commissioner to say that it happened and wouldn’t again, and they said, ‘OK, thanks.”
The ex-GM, who now works for MLB Network Radio, said in 1998 he had put in a video replay system at Shea Stadium and had cameras behind the first- and third-base photo boxes and behind home plate, but not in center field because they “weren’t looking to steal the signs or anything like that.”
“We had it to trying to get the pitcher’s delivery, the hitter’s swing, the first-base shot would get the right-handed hitter.”
Phillips also said the Mets shouldn’t fire Carlos Beltran for his role in the sign-stealing scandal, but admitted that it is “embarrassing” the team, and that he has to come clean.
“He’s got some amends to make,” Phillips said. “He needs to speak up. He needs to acknowledge that he made mistakes. He needs to acknowledge that he didn’t answer questions correctly with it.
Once MLB decided to grant all players immunity in its investigation, Beltran, a player for the 2017 Astros, found himself in the clear, in terms of discipline, as long as he cooperated, which baseball officials believe he did.
Phillips also said this won’t affect his relationship with the players.
“I think that the players are going to respond to him,” he said. “Because … this has gone on with a lot of teams.”
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