So this was hilarious. Mariano Rivera…THE Mariano Rivera…was accused of spitting on the ball in Game 3. In case you need a quick history lesson, The Spitball, a pitch outlawed in 1920, in achieved by the pitcher doing something to lubricate the ball somewhat, whether it be spit, water, petroleum jelly or Vaseline.
Some goofaw Yankee haters decided there was photographic proof of future hall-of-famer Rivera spitting on the ball and cheating. However, Major League Baseball put the silly rumors to rest, saying it reviewed footage and found no proof that Mariano did such a thing.
Mo took the whole thing lightly. While being interviewed, he jokingly asked reporters if they could hold on while he spit.
The whole situation just played off of Yankee haters and grew into something big over nothing. We all know by now how TV can make things look different then they actually are. Also, the whole point of the spitball was that it was hard to hit because it would like one pitch and then do something unpredictable at the last moment. Mariano basically has one pitch – a cutter. We all know what that pitch does – it cuts – and Mariano’s virtually goes to the same spot. Almost every time.
No one with any brain really believed it. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said, “This is the first I’m hearing about this. I didn’t even know that there was any indication that it’s been looked at. Never. There are certainly some guys that might be suspect. But never Mariano, with anything that I’ve heard or been part of. And I’d be shocked if there was anything to that.”
Joe Girardi added, “I kind of laughed [when he heard about the video]. Mo’s been throwing one pitch for a long time. I happened to catch him. He was accused of throwing a spitter. The one thing about a spitter is it consistently does not go one way like Mo’s ball consistently goes one way. So I kind of laughed at it. MLB has investigated, they have found nothing about it. We just move on. To me it’s a dead story. I caught Mo for four years and I know for sure he never did anything.”
I’m still just shocked that it even became a story – and one that would be on ESPN’s homepage.