Boston Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz is breezing through the early part of the 2013.
After shutting down the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday, Toronto TV broadcaster Jack Morris and radio announcer Dirk Hayhurst both accused Buchholz of throwing the outlawed “spitball,” a pitch that is basically a fastball with extra movement.
Morris, a former All-Star pitcher with an 18-year MLB career, told ESPN that he did not notice anything suspicious during the game, but did see clear evidence when watching video replays.
Buchholz and his manager, John Farrell, have both denied that the accusations are true. The pitcher noted that he put rosin, a drying agent made readily available to all pitchers on the field in a small bag behind the mound, on his arm.
“Loading up with what, rosin? I get wet from my hair,” Buchholz said. “Are they talking about the stains on my shirt? There probably are stains on my shirt, because I’ve been wearing the same shirt for the last three years. I’m doing the same thing right now as I did in 2008, when I was sent down to Double-A. But I guess something’s got to be wrong, right?”
Farrell came to his star’s defense, echoing Buchholz’s denial. “He’s not loading up. He’s got rosin on his arm. As soon as someone pitches well or does well, they’re cheating,” he said.
MLB pitchers are notorious for doing anything to get an edge, and nearly all of them lick their fingers, rub their cap and use some rosin to moisten their pitching hands and get an ideal grip on the baseball.
We’ll see if people are still complaining about Buchholz, always known for having a lot of movement on his pitches, when he returns to earth and gives up more than a single run per nine innings.