Amidst all the clamor of Clay Buchholz’s alleged indiscretion, former pitcher and current Toronto radio host Dirk Hayhurst accused Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee of using his hat to gain an unfair advantage:
Now I’m getting lambasted for calling this cheating; cheating when there is solid video evidence to support it.
Pitchers break the law, folks. Some do it in the accepted “it’s only five miles over the limit, officer,” way. Some have big enough names that they can get away with it even when it’s plain for all to see – Cliff Lee’s hat, anyone?
Asked to comment on the accusation, Lee responded, “Who’s Dirk Hayhurst?”
More, via High Cheese:
“That’s nothing,” Lee said of tugging on his hat bill in between pitches.
“That’s a completely inaccurate statement,” Lee said of Hayhurst’s accusation. “I’ll go get you my hat right now. I’ve been wearing the same hat for three years. It’s sweat and rosin.”
Sweat, of course, builds up on hats. Pitchers are permitted to use a rosin bag, of course, since it’s located behind the mound for their usage.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.