Today’s news is powered by “Chicago Transit Authority”, circa 1970:
- Mariano Rivera did NOT load up a baseball:
A video clip spreading all over the Web on Tuesday shows Mariano Rivera holding the ball in his hand in the 10th inning of Game 3 on Monday, and — gasp — spitting downward. . . .
As first reported by Joel Sherman, Major League Baseball acted quickly on this one, investigating the incident and exonerating Rivera. They found photos that showed the spit passing his hand well past the ball.
“From the available video and still photography we have, there is no evidence that Rivera spit on the ball,” said Patrick Courtney, M.L.B.’s vice president for public relations.
- I asked Will Carroll about the video of Mo and the supposed spitball, and he passed it onto Mat Kovach, a Pitchf/X and pitcher analyst with an interest in spitballs. Mat wrote back to Will and I:
Looked at a frame by frame, he spits off to the side. They start the fade a bit soon, so it is hard to see, but you can make out the spit behind the ball and going towards the ground.
Based on how Mo throws his cutter, He really relies on a good spin on
the ball to get late horizontal movement away or towards the batter.
If he is throwing the traditional ‘split finger’ like spitter, the late break would be vertical (i.e.: the lack of spin would cause the ball to drop towards the plate more.) Mo doesn’t really pitch that way, he wants to ball handcuffing some one.
In either case, I don’t see Mo doing anything different then he normally does. Plus, nobody is going to SPIT on the ball. They’ll want moisture on the ball in a specific spot and rub it in. Then they’ll need some moisture on their fingers, for the traditional spitter.
This is just an optical illusion.
“Not that I’ve been thinking about this, but players who can get on the field every day and score 100 runs, how many guys do that?” Boras said. “Johnny just plays, and he’s got the body type that allows him to do that.
“If stem-cell research were around, you’d want to tap into that gene pool,” Boras added. “He’s (35), but has a 30-year-old’s body. He plays much younger.”
- Rate the Yanks as fielders.
- John Flaherty turns 42 today. Flaherty finished his career with three seasons as the Yanks back-up catcher (’03-’05).
- Happy 81st birthday to the Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford.
- On this date in 1998, the Yankees closed out their historic season with 3 – 0 victory against the San Diego Padres, sweeping San Diego in four games to win their record 24th World Series championship. Andy Pettitte gets the victory, and Scott Brosius is named Series MVP. The Game Four victory gave the Yankees 125 wins against 50 losses for a .714 winning percentage, the best in the majors since their Murderers’ Row club of 1927.
- On this date in 2000, the Yankees defeat the Mets 4 – 3, in 12 innings, in Game One of the World Series. The longest game in World Series history (4 hours, 51 minutes) is ended on Jose Vizcaino’ single which drives home Tino Martinez. It is Vizcaino’s fourth hit of the night. The Mets lead, 3-2, going into the ninth, but reliever Armando Benitez surrenders the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Chuck Knoblauch. The victory is the Yankees 13th in a row in Series play for a new record.