Mick Billmeyer, Phillies coach for 10 years, cut loose

The Phillies have cut catching coach Mick Billmeyer loose. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Another longtime Phillies coach fell victim to this offseason's purge. Mick Billmeyer is out as catching coach, as the team announced Saturday it would not renew his contract. 

Billmeyer, 49, spent a decade on the Phillies staff in various capacities. He served under four different managers. After being in the bullpen as catching instructor (2004-08) and bullpen coach (2009-12), Billmeyer moved to the dugout last season as catching coach. He was Charlie Manuel's de facto bench coach and viewed as a positive influence.

Billmeyer could remain in the organization, although his big-league experience could land a job elsewhere. He was the minor-league catching coordinator for four seasons before joining the big-league staff.

He is best known, perhaps, for an incident at Coors Field in 2010 when TV cameras caught Billmeyer viewing the game through binoculars from the bullpen. That launched a warning from Major League Baseball and a host of conspiracy theories about sign-stealing.

New manager Ryne Sandberg has three openings to fill __ a pitching coach, bench coach and third-base coach. Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa is a strong candidate to join the staff as Sandberg's bench coach or third-base coach.

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