Extra Bases

Another pretend controversy

First there was the painfully ridiculous Joe Mauer is tipping pitches story.

Now we have Mariano Rivera is spitting on the ball story.

What’s next? Perhaps Kevin Youkilis stores cans of Red Bull in his goatee that he sips between pitches when nobody is looking. If you look closely at the video, you can see it.

It’s like watching JFK with these people. They take one short video clip, post it on YouTube and brand a player a cheater. Suddenly that’s “evidence.” Back and to the left. Back and to the left.

Never mind that Rivera could have spit three feet away, his ball doesn’t move like a spitball would, there were six umpires on the field and he was standing in the middle of a stadium full of people. No, he just stands on the mound and spits on the ball.

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There’s enough actual cheating going in baseball (good afternoon Manny and A-Rod) without get-a-lifers going after people like Mauer and Rivera. It’s not fair to any player on any team to have to deal with these sorts of things.

The internet has changed sports journalism for the better and it’s tremendous that we all have access to information we never did before and within seconds. But here’s an example of that not always being a good thing.

UPDATE, 1:55 p.m.: Hey, look, somebody did some actual reporting and Major League Baseball found no evidence he spit on the ball.

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Meanwhile, it’s sunny in Philadelphia and the Dodgers and Phillies are working out today in preparation for Game 5 of the NLCS tomorrow night. Back later on with some updates.

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