The mound is too steep. The balls weren’t properly rubbed. The other guys are cheating. Just another day in St. Louis:
[Dave] Duncan, who said the umpires told him the baseballs indeed were rubbed up, said Arroyo was able to deal with the issue because “I’m sure he had pine tar on his cap. He didn’t have any problem getting a grip. Balls like that can generate a lot more movement than a slick ball that hasn’t been rubbed up.”
Asked if he had seen Arroyo go to his cap, Duncan said, “Just every pitch.”
There’s a picture of Arroyo’s cap there which shows some sort of darkening under the lid, but it’s not particularly clear what it is. Now that it’s been raised as an issue, you can bet that the cap is long freakin’ gone. Of course, we would know for sure if it was covered in pine tar if the Cardinals had asked the umps to inspect it during the game, but they didn’t. Duncan’s excuse for not asking for an inspection was telling: he refused, saying that such a thing would be “gamesmanship.”
Please. Catching someone you strongly suspect to be cheating during a game is not gamesmanship. It’s the absolute right thing to do. It’s only gamesmanship if you don’t really believe he’s cheating and you want to mess with the guy’s head.
Of course, complaining about the quality of the balls and alleging that the other side was cheating isn’t gamesmanship either. It’s just pathetic.