TORONTO – Clay Buchholz defended himself against allegations made by a Toronto broadcaster that he cheated while shutting out the Blue Jays for seven innings in a 10-1 victory over the Blue Jays Wednesday.
Blue Jays broadcaster Dirk Hayhurst accused Buchholz of rubbing his fingers on a white substance that he had on the sleeve of his undershirt, guessing the substance was Crisco.
Asked if he were upset by the allegations, Buchholz said, “Not at all. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I definitely don’t think if I’d given up nine runs in two and third innings it would have been an issue. That’s my guess. I don’t know. It is what it is.”
Hayhurst, a former major league pitcher told Sportsnet 590 The Fan, that Buchholz was “absolutely” cheating.
The radio station website also provided photos of Buchholz wiping his first two fingers across his forearm, which appeared to be partially covered with a white substance.
“Before every start, I pat rosin on my arm, go up and get stretched,” Buchholz said. “They said I had something in my hair? It’s the bottle of water I pour over me between each inning. They don’t want you licking your fingers on the mound so it’s a way to have moisture. I wipe it off every time I touch my hair.”
“Every pitcher puts rosin on,” Buchholz explained. “That’s why it’s there. It is what it is.”
Asked if he was annoyed at Hayhurst he said, “I don’t have any ill feelings against anybody. That’s the way it works. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
There was also mentioned of a discolored sleeve on his undershirt.
“I’ve been wearing the same red shirt under my uniform for three years,” Buchholz said. “So it probably has a lot of stains on it. The water is dripping off my hair onto my uniform and I’m sweating. It makes the red color turn to a darker red. I really don’t know how to solve that problem, if it is a problem.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell was dealing with the issue since Hayhurst spoke about Buchholz in the morning.
“It bothers me immensely when someone is going to make an accusation,” said Farrell, “and in this case cheating, because they’ve seen something on TV. He’s got resin on his arm. I think resin was designed to get a grip. But the fact is, he’s got it on his arm. I’ve seen some people who have brought photographs to me. They’re false.
“The fact is the guy’s 6-0. He’s pitched his tail off. If people are going to point to him cheating? Unfounded.”
Red Sox analysts Jerry Remy and Dennis Eckersley all took the opposite view on NESN.
“I have faced guys that have thrown spitballs before and you know it right away. It’s mostly on a fastball that’s going to dip and do all kind of crazy things, strange rotation on the baseball, and what’s the first thing you do? You ask the umpire to check the baseball. There was none of that going on here last night,” Remy said.
Eckersley, who was the analyst on NESN’s pre-game show said, “First of all, why are we giving this guy any play who said this, these accusations, to me is tired to begin with. He’s a lifetime minor league pitcher that’s watching the video and I don’t know what he saw. … To me, it’s a joke.
“The guy’s so nasty, to take anything away from the way the guy is throwing the ball right now is absolutely ridiculous. Like you said Jerry — you saw Gaylord Perry and everybody in the house knew he was cheating, and so did the umpires and they never really did anything about it. To take that away from this kid right now is a crime because this is as good as I’ve seen anybody start a season off and he doesn’t need to cheat, Jerry,” Eckersley said.