I was alerted to this video via Twitter by … Dallas Latos? Who I guess is Reds pitcher Mat Latos’ wife. She has a blog at MLB saying so anyway. I sorta don’t care. The point of this post is the video, not who’s sending it around. And the point of the video is that it appears to show Jose Valverde doctoring up the baseball.
There are two videos, actually, one in slow motion one at full speed. They show Valverde taking the ball, put it in his glove, raising his pitching hand high in the air — classic magician’s misdirection move! — clearly working up some spit in his mouth and then bringing the glove with the ball to his face and hocking a loogie into the glove. Like, you can see the jaw muscles move and stuff.
First, video in slow motion:
Here it is at full speed:
The videos may be taken down by MLB soon. So below are a couple of captured stills. They don’t totally get it all, but know that the first one catches him in mid spit-creation:
For the record, this came before the 1-2 pitch to Devin Mesoraco. The pitch resulted in a swinging strike. According to Brooks Baseball, the pitch was a fastball. It also had more rotation on it then the other three pitches he threw.
I’m not the vice president of major league baseball in charge of on-field affairs, so I can’t make any definitive ruling here and I’ll leave it as it stands. Two thoughts, though:
If it was a spitball, can anyone tell me why Valverde would even bother with Angel Hernandez behind the plate calling everything within a mile of the dish a strike? and
If it wasn’t a spitball, how awesome is it that Mat Latos’ wife is on Twitter stirring up crap? That would be epic, yes?
Have at it, everyone.
Theo Epstein on sportswriters: “The life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself…”
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.