- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PHILADELPHIA | New York Yankees pitchers have seemingly spent more time during the World Series talking to teammates and coaches on the mound than actually throwing to hitters. And it drove the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans batty during games at Citizens Bank Park.

Battery mates CC Sabathia and Jorge Posada met at the mound six times in the first inning of Game 4 on Sunday night and eight times in the fifth inning. Each disruption of play was met with boos from the pro-Phillies crowd and surely helped extend the game’s length to 3 hours, 25 minutes.

Why so many mound conferences?

“There are a lot of instances that you go to the mound,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Monday before Game 5. “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? There’s a lot of situations.”

At least one person believes there could be another reason: sign stealing. Former Phillies manager and current Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa said on a Philadelphia radio station Monday there have long been suspicions of the Phillies stealing signs from the bullpen and relaying them to hitters.

Those allegations didn’t sit well with some members of the Phillies.

“I guess he knows something that I don’t know about,” center fielder Shane Victorino said. “You know, everybody makes excuses. Everybody is going to find a reason. For Bowa to come out and say something like that if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about… if he doesn’t have cold, hard facts, he shouldn’t say something like that.”

Cabrera replaced

The Yankees were forced to make a roster change before Game 5 after determining center fielder Melky Cabrera’s strained hamstring wouldn’t heal in time for him to return before the end of the series.

Cabrera hurt himself running out a grounder in the sixth inning of Game 4 and was replaced for the rest of the game by Brett Gardner. Though Girardi described the strain as mild, Cabrera’s movement was limited, so the Yankees decided not to take a chance.

Taking advantage of a rule enacted by Major League Baseball that allows teams to replace an injured player in mid-series if he would have gone on the disabled list during the regular season, New York activated infielder Ramiro Pena to take Cabrera’s roster spot. Pena hit .287 in 69 games this season but had not appeared in any previous games this postseason.

Paper apologizes

The Philadelphia Inquirer was forced to issue an apology after mistakenly running a Macy’s ad in Monday morning’s editions that congratulated the Phillies on winning back-to-back World Series and featured a championship T-shirt for sale.

“The Inquirer deeply regrets this error,” Howard Griffin, vice president for national advertising, said in a message to readers. “We apologize for this error and any inconvenience this caused.”

The timing of the ad was particularly odd; the Phillies would have had to sweep the series for the ad to be accurate Monday. That scenario had been impossible since the Yankees won Game 2 on Thursday.

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