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Joe Girardi 'wasn't shocked' by reports Astros stole signs

Phillies manager Joe Girardi speaks during the MLBwinter

Phillies manager Joe Girardi speaks during the MLBwinter meetings on Monday in San Diego. Credit: AP/Gregory Bull

SAN DIEGO – Count Joe Girardi among those not surprised at what’s come out about the Astros in recent weeks.

“I wasn’t shocked,” Girardi said Monday. “We had put in a lot of things to try to combat certain things. You know, word gets around.”

Girardi, named the new manager of the Phillies in October, managed the Yankees from 2008-17. His final game was a loss in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS to the Astros, a series in which the home team won every game.

Monday during his media availability at the annual winter meetings, Girardi was asked about the Astros and the smoke that has surrounded them for years regarding their sign-stealing. An explosive report last month in The Athletic detailed some of the club’s alleged methods in doing so, including the use of an illegal camera in centerfield and the subsequent banging on a trash can – in real time – to identify pitches. MLB is currently investigating.

“That is bothersome to me,” Girardi said of utilizing technology in that way to steal signs (to be clear, he did not blame the Yankees’ loss in the series on anything other than getting beat).

Girardi said it’s up to the players to “guard against the players on the field” when it comes to sign-stealing but...

“You can’t guard against technology and players off the field,” Girardi added. “Now, you do have guys that are really good at picking up things from pitchers where they tip. To me, that’s still on the field, in a sense.”

Girardi then brought up something he discussed with regularity going back to the early years of his tenure as Yankees manager – baseball going the route of the NFL, whose quarterbacks receive play calls from the sideline via helmet radios.

“It’s [why] I’ve been a big proponent of [wearing] headsets,” Girardi said. “Then the only thing you have to worry about is if a pitcher is tipping.”

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