Chipper: Moyer off base about sign stealing
Braves third baseman says he's never done that in his career
DENVER -- Chipper Jones exited Coors Field late Saturday night incensed that Jamie Moyer had accused him of relaying signs from second base. The Braves' third baseman continued to talk about the incident when he returned early Sunday morning.
Jones said he believes Moyer is paranoid because he spent most of the past five years playing for the Phillies, a team the 40-year-old third baseman said is known for stealing signs.
"He is so paranoid that every single team does it, which is not the case," Jones said. "The only people I remember doing it in this organization was [Jeff] Blauser and [Mark] Lemke. Those are the only two guys that I ever knew of that would either give location or give signs from second base. Since then, nobody has done it."
Jones has had many teammates since Blauser and Lemke ended their days in Atlanta after the 1997 season. While there certainly could have been a few Braves that have attempted to steal and relay signs over the past 15 years, Jones once again said he is not one of them.
"I've never relayed a sign at second base in my career and [Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki] said [Moyer's] signs are so complex that NASA couldn't steal them," Jones said.
Jones' anger stems from what occurred after he doubled in the fifth inning of Saturday night's 13-9 comeback win over the Rockies.
The Braves trailed, 6-2, and had recorded just six hits at that point. But Moyer felt there was reason to make this accusation as Jones took his lead at second base and shared some casual words with Tulowitzki.
"All I can tell you is that me and Chipper was just talking," Tulowitzki said. "I didn't get the sense that he was relaying anything. No one knows the truth. You can look at it from both sides. From Moyer's side, he's going to say, 'Yeah, he was giving location.' But for me, he wasn't doing anything."
When Moyer looked toward second base and yelled, "I see what you are doing," he was getting ready to throw a 3-0 pitch to Brian McCann. Staring at a four-run deficit, the six-time All-Star catcher was going to take the pitch.
"My hitter is taking no matter what in that situation because we play the game right," Jones said.
When asked to provide his side of the story on Sunday morning, Moyer said, "I've got no comment."
Jones revealed on Sunday morning that his anger increased when he learned Moyer came to the plate in the bottom of the fifth and told McCann, "that's how people get hurt" in reference to his belief that some Atlanta players were stealing signs.
"At that point, I told [Todd] Helton and Tulo to tell [Moyer], because he was already out of the game by then after those 900-foot homers with nobody on base," Jones said. "I said he could meet me in the tunnel to discuss it and I never heard back."
Those "900-foot homers" were the mammoth back-to-back home runs Matt Diaz and Jason Heyward hit off Moyer to begin the five-run sixth. The Rockies' 49-year-old pitcher exited one batter after allowing the long blasts.
Jones was furious that his integrity had been questioned. He said this is the first time in his 19-year Major League career that he has been accused of relaying signs.
After Saturday night's game, Jones told MLB.com, "I've never accused him of doctoring a baseball. I've never accused him of over-milligraming, nothing." He delivered a similar message when he spoke to reporters again on Sunday morning.
"It's unacceptable," Jones said. "If he would like to talk to me about it, I'd gladly give him the opportunity to voice his displeasure with me personally. Somehow, I don't think that is going to happen."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.