Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting some stuff on the ball

If Mariano Rivera wasn't spitting on the ball here, what was he doing?

Update: I just threw up the link this morning and took off to run some errands.

Since then, MLB (according to the New York Post) has declared the scanty evidence of Fox's video to be inaccurate, that Rivera was not spitting directly on the ball. 

My thoughts:

1) I do wish Fox had stuck with this camera shot a bit longer. It's not like nobody knows that Mike Scoscia's in the dugout. But their production values are similar to Joe Girardi handling his relief corps — hyperactive. We don't get to see what followed Rivera's spit — or even where it landed.

2) I really doubt that Rivera has made a habit of doctoring the ball. If he does, he doesn't do it so blatantly.  

3) There are far fewer pitchers suspected now of doctoring the ball — by scuffing it or applying a "foreign substance" — than there were 20, 25, 30 years ago. Why? The very reason this is a subject today — there are dozens of video cameras recording virtually every move a pitcher makes. A cheating pitcher is far more likely to be caught on tape now than in Gaylord Perry's heyday.

4) If Rivera was loading one up, it was an odd time to do it — the no. 9 hitter up in a bunt situation. Throwing a spitter in those circumstances just increases the chances for a fielding misplay.

Say ... that's what happened, isn't it?

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