Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
So that 'splains why the Gambler's been on a roll. Lester Hayes ain't got nuthin' on you, babe.
Next time he visits the Stadium, they should play either that or Jailhouse Rap while he's warming up.
San Francisco Chronicle: Rogers To Grand Jury: "Trainer Told Me It Was Maple Syrup, Not Pine-Tar"
NY Post: A-Rod Steals Orphan From Malawi
I went to an IHOP in Atlanta while visiting a friend. While we were talking, our order came and I started pouring syrup on the pancakes. I thought it was rather odd that the pancakes were soaking up the syrup so quickly, as did my friend, but we said nothing.
The waitress then came by with a pitcher and asked if we'd like some syrup for our pancakes.
"What? If that's the syrup..."
"I thought it was a New York thing", my friend says, "I was wondering why you were pouring coffee on your pancakes."
I gotta travel today so excuse me if I can't reply to this conversation. Later.
I guess to the least, Kenny Rogers picked the right time to cheat.
Myabe Kirk Jones should let Kenny use his knickname, "Sticky Fingaz"
And it's also too late for this, but since Comrade Al brought it up -- something that's been bothering me about that call at 3rd is that Torre never left the dugout to protest the call.
As far as I am concerned, this fiasco invalidates the entire post-season. It's as if this is 1994 again except they are going through the motions of playing the games.
Or, more likely, am I just a crackpot?
Someone please explain to me how this type of cheating is different from PED use. Both are against the rules. Both affect the outcome of games. Both are cheating. Why is one acceptable and the other not?
2. The bad call at third was critical in the pivotal game in the Yankee series (as was the Bernie foul HR, but that's baseball).
3. Pitchers have been doing this for a long time, but they usually got tossed for it - see Niekro, J.
4. You cannot state for certain that the Tigers are not being helped by steroids - look at their catcher.
22 When a team is not hitting, it always seems that the players are unmotivated, and we know why the team wasn't hitting.
Who remembers, without looking it up, who was the first player to be suspended under the new steroid policy? Has that been mentioned nearly as much as Bonds, Giambi, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, et. al...
Then, we celebrate the tricksters who are also clever enough to not get caught. Tom Sawyer is the penultimate trickster of American folklore, and anyone who does something wrong, but cleverly is often heralded as a Tom Sawyer-type; the kind you just shake your head and say, "boys will be boys."
And then, of course there are clumsy and get caught. Even so, the PED vs Clever rule tends to apply, according to the stature of the person caught and the situation they are caught in. There was only headshaking when Joe Neikro got caught flinging an emory board in a regular game. Don Larsen doing the same thing during his perfect game would destroy the game itself. Kenny Sticky Fingaz is not Don Larsen, but he's ultimately in a similar situation, compounded by the shadow of steroids suspicion. If one thing led to another, it would destroy the game 25; no one wants to go there.
That's my cynical response, not my crackpot one >;)
Not to mention that Jay Howell was suspended 2 games for having pine tar in his glove during the 1988 NLCS and Brendan Donnelly was also suspended last season for having pine tar on his glove.
Other suspensions for similar incidents:
S. Sosa 2003 7 games Corked bat
B. Moehler 1999 10 days Sandpaper
W. Guerrero 1997 8 games Corked bat
C. Sabo 1996 7 games Corked bat
A. Belle 1994 6 days, 7 games Corked bat
J. Howell 1988 2 games Pine tar
K. Gross 1987 10 days Sandpaper
B. Hatcher 1987 8 games Corked bat
J. Niekro 1987 10 days Emery board
G. Perry 1982 10 days Spitball
R. Honeycutt 1980 10 days Thumbtack
I'm curious why Kenny Rogers can get caught "pine tar handed" and get away with it and yet these others were suspended. My guess is that the umps do not want to have something like a suspension change the outcome of a World Serious. It is similar to the way the all huddle together now to make sure they get the calls correct. As opposed to years past when they would just be stubborn and not ask for help and thus let a bad call stand.
Or maybe Kenny really does have a deal with the devil...
I wasn't alive when Whitey pitched, but I know that he would have driven me nuts. Its just not right, and it makes me sad to know that it has a place in baseball.
Perry is a confessed cheater and a Hall of Famer. I guess in some ways the powers that be really do feel that if you're not cheating you're not really trying. I dislike the idea that his story is celebrated as colorful rather than derided as shameful. But it's just my opinion and folks who don't feel that way are obviously entitled to their own point of view. I do think it's hysterically funny that the good folks at Vaseline had more class than the Hall of Fame and refused his offer to act as a spokesman for their Petroleum Jelly.
The umps did not want the game to change on something like ejecting Kenny (not to mention that he would probably get suspended). So they just asked him to clean it up.
LaRussa was between a rock and a hard place. He had to do something since it was so obvious that even the dunces at FOX noticed it. I think he just wanted to get inside Kenny's head to disrupt his concentration. He could not make too big of a deal over it (i.e. call for the umps to inspect Kenny) because maybe he knew that some of his guys do the same thing (just not as blatant as Rogers) and he did not want to open up that can of worms (or pine tar in this case).
"Overall, that left the first two games averaging a RECORD-LOW of 9.8, down 5 percent from the previous bottom, a 10.3 for the first two games last year."
I know... Have the Yankees play the WS no matter what, and if they win, give the title and trophy to whoever beat them is the ALDS or ALCS.
winner! we have a winner!
I have already noticed this in my office. Some people who are not even casual baseball fans have brought it up and have asked me about it. One guy even came into my office with some kind of brown stain on his hand (not sure where he got that from and I don't think I want to know).
I am sure that more than a few people will tune in the next time that Kenny pitches to see if he is using pine tar and to see what happens.
I'm not sure about the credibility issue. As mentioned in earlier posts, even though it is also cheating, people seem to think the PED issue is worse and baseball seems to have survived that issue so far (not to mention the 1994 strike that I thought might destroy the game).
It is one thing to add something to the baseball that changes the movement and it is something else to just give the pitcher the ability to grip it better. Since both sides do it maybe they figure that it evens out or maybe it doesn't really do that much for the pitcher and therefore they feel it is okay.
I would think that it would give the pitcher and advantage especially when the ball is cold and wet, but if that is the case why would the batters (who have to know about it) not be screaming about it when they see someone doing it?
Maybe it only violates the letter of the rule, but not the spirit of it?
...which is nice.
I think the umps have decided to leave well enough alone, unless someone makes a stink about it. That seems to be the umps approach to a lot of things, and whether that's the best way to do it, I don't know.
34 MFD, I don't remember Perry either but I've heard a lot of the stories. Not the Vasoline spokesman one though - good for them! Real-world legalities aside, I can't understand how the same people who laugh at Perry curse Barry Bonds.
Bama, your reasoning in 37 sounds right on to me. It does raise credibility issues, but for me, that's alraedy present because of the inconsistent strike zone. That's another thing that is accepted as "part of the game", but it bugs me a lot more than this whole thing, mostly because it could be more easily dealt with.
1. "If you're not cheating, you're not trying." That's the most cynical way of putting it, but it's not that far off. Rogers isn't paid for good sportsmanship or even for playing within the rules; he's paid to help his team win games. If he cheats and gets away with it, he's done his job well.
Of course, he's also taking a significant risk. If he gets caught and suspended, he's hurting his team's chances and doing his job very poorly indeed. In that context, cheating shouldn't be seen as morally inferior, just as an extremely risky option. In most cases, it's not worth that risk.
2. "It ain't cheating if you don't get caught." Really, that's all there is to say about the Yankee game. I don't know if he "won by cheating," just that he won and, probably, cheated. If the Yankees didn't see it and didn't bring it to the ump's attention, well, shame on them.
Frankly, I don't think there really is that big a difference between pine tar and PEDs, except that MLB has been far more hypocritical on the latter. With either one, players who break the rule may help their teams win, but they run the risk of hurting their teams more severely. And with either one, it's pointless to try to change the past.
Bobby Murcer, for one, hated him.
When Perry was with the Yankees, I saw him throw a "puffball." He shook the rosin bag gently in his hand to collect as much of it as he could. Then when he threw the pitch the ball would suddenly materialize out of this little cloud of white powder. He only threw it a couple of times before the umps stopped him - but hey, he tried. And it was most entertaining to watch.
"Catch the ball, throw the ball, hit the ball, eat the ball, tell 'em to kiss your a@$ if necessary, PLAY THE GAME!"
Guaranteed to break the ice at naughty parties >;)
Another distinction of PEDs is that they are physically (not just morally) dangerous to our children.
As "independent" as the PED testers are, I believe that Bud and Co. have an awful lot of say in who gets tested and when. The last thing MLB wants is for a steroids/amphetemines/pine tar controversy to upstage the world series. As with McGuire, Bonds and rest, baseball will cover up for its high-profile cheaters until the evidence becomes overwhelming. Then they'll throw them under the bus.
And if that link Alex posted is correct, everyone cheats, so no one wants to draw too much attention to it. Including the Yankees pitchers, I guess. Wang? Moose? The Unit? Mo? Do they all use pine tar or shaving cream or suntan lotion?
55 What a line to draw. My wife is a teacher - I'm sure some of her students would love to know that there is such a thing as "good" cheating. Cheating might not physically hurt kids like PEDs do, but isn't the soul ultimately more important than the body? Cheating certainly scars the soul.
If the umps know about it and allow it and now MLB knows about it and allows it, then they should just change the rule to allow pine tar during certain situations (similar to the way they allow you to blow on your hands in cold weather).
Somewhere obviously a line is drawn morally in sports where cheating is unacceptable and worthy of punishment. The 1919 Black Sox scandal is the perfect example. To this day, MLB has not and seems to have no intention of reversing that decision.
The motivation of cheaters also is a consideration. Did Pete Rose actually cheat when he bet on baseball games? That's not even the question that has banned him from the game, but whether his betting motivated him to make decisions that would better his own chances. If anything he cheated at gambling when you look at it that way. But again, that begs the question of what he did, whether he simply bet on the games or if he manipulated games to favor a certain outcome. And if so, did he cheat to win all the time or some of the time?
The reason I say this is because it seems that cheating has a moral ambiguity within the baseball community, but what about the communites that sustain themselves on what baseball does? Do the implications only affect the players and the teams, or is there people buried in the desert who knew more about a player's motivation than we would even want to know?
Like Shaun P said, if Mo were cheating, that would be devastating. Not just him, but lots and lots of people who place so much faith in people who play games, through whom we often live vicariously. What do you say to a child that does something "bad" when that child is witness to a brazen attempt at flouting rules or principles you set forth for them? "That happens in life, but don't you do it..." I'm not taking a morally superior stance on this, but I draw the line somewhere when I have to think that "everyone is cheating, so it's no big deal..."
(Maybe I'm wrong about Pete Rose since I haven't read the books, but from a casual standpoint it all seems hypocritical to me.)
I dunno, I can see having some rules on the books that are rarely enforced. Football has a lot of them. They basically give the refs a way to keep things from getting out of hand if someone goes too far. Everyone seems to konw where the line is, even if it's not in the rulebook.
But this pine tar thing doesn't really fit into that category.
And on another subject...why on god's green earth is there so much Raul Mondesi stuff in the Yankees store at MLB.com? I mean, jeez. Mondesi??? I think I'd be more inclined to buy an Andy Phillips autograph than Raul Mondesi.
Do they have any Karim Garcia stuff at MLB.com?
I have always thought, at least since I was aware that the spitter was at one time legal that guys still try to load the ball. For years I heard the argument that "the spitter really isn't effective so there's no real point in enforcing the rule." Yet if it's not effective, why the rule?
If it really does give the pitcher an advantage they actually need I'd say recognize the need exists and that the spitball tactic is effective. Recognize then that some "legal " edge needs to be given to the pitchers. Why not enforce the rule and do something like raise the mound 6 inches or so. Either that or stick a tub of goo behind the mound (other than D. Wells) and let 'em spitball away legally.
The way things are now though is a mockery. Institutionalized contempt for established rules is a dangerous thing. At some point someone needs to ask "what is the purpose of the rule and does the rule serve that purpose?" If it doesn't serve the purpose it is designed to it either needs to be changed or dropped, not ignored. In my opinion that's the right thing to do.
60 I feel the exact same way. I would be devastated if I found out that Mo was cheating with pine tar or suntan lotion or some other substance. All the wonderful memories that I have of his outstanding performances over the years would be diminished.
I'm proseltyzing too much. And the last time I quoted stats, nobody noticed. So what is there left to do but make corny remarks?
Great line, wsporter.
68 MFD, your tub of goo line got me thinking - I wonder what a knuckle-spitter would do?
BTW, Forster's career batting average was .397 and his career ERA was 3.23. How many pitchers can you name that have a better BA (times 10 of course) than their ERA for a career? Babe Ruth was one at .342 BA and 2.28 ERA.
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