TORONTO — Good morning from the Mats Sundin International Airport. We’re waiting for a flight to Dallas and the next stop on the Red Sox road trip.
It was 43 degrees at first pitch at Rangers Ballpark on Thursday night. The decision to pack short-sleeved shirts is starting to look like a bad one.
It was quite a wild night at the ballpark on Wednesday as the broadcasters of the respective teams faced off like the Jets and the Sharks. Jack Morris and Dirk Hayhurst of the Blue Jays said that Clay Buchholz was cheating. Then they accused Junichi Tazawa of the same thing.
In Toronto, Jerry Remy defended the Sox. Then Dennis Eckersley went high cheese on Morris from the NESN studios in Watertown. Gotta love Eck.
I don’t know enough about how to throw a baseball to tell you whether Buchholz is cheating. I do know that he needs humidity to get a grip on his off-speed pitches and is always dumping water on himself. That is not cheating, however.
Buchholz is 6-0, 1.01 and people who haven’t followed him over the years — like Morris — could be suspicious of that. But Buchholz has always had good stuff. It’s consistency and health that have been his biggest issues. Nobody on the Sox has more natural talent than he does.
That Tazawa could be cheating is beyond silly. As Jon Lester mentioned to me last night, pitchers of his generation have no idea how to use a scuff on a ball to their advantage.
“I always throw them back,” Lester said. “I’d be afraid to try and do something with it because I have no idea where it would go.”
I think a lot of this comes from the anti-Red Sox, anti-John Farrell sentiment in Toronto. Mix in how terrible the Jays are this season and accusing a Red Sox player of cheating plays well with the audience.
If the Sox were in last place and the Jays in first, none of this comes up.
Anyway, time to get on the plane. Catch you from Dallas.
Oh, and if you’re ever in Toronto and flying back to the States in the morning, give yourself time. It was 90 minutes from walking in the airport to getting to the gate. And that was with getting here at 4:45 a.m.