Dave Duncan’s pine tar complaint is pathetic

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.

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Comments

  1. Randy said...

    The stuff under Arroyo’s cap was probably residue from the plethora of “vitamins” he’s taking.

    He’s been a topic of conversation far more than someone with his record should have.

  2. Ben2009 said...

    Dave Duncan must be thinking, “Darn that unwritten, nonexistent rulebook that spells out what kind of cheating is really cheating and what kind of cheating is OK!  If only the unwritten rulebook were, say, unwritten, nonexistant, and made up, I could have complained about the opposing pitcher maybe cheating!”

  3. Lou said...

    Best part of the link from Jim…

    ” And Reds pitching coach Dick Pole suggested that the three Cardinals relievers who finished up for Smoltz _ Dennys Reyes, Josh Kinney and Brad Thompson _ must have been using pine tar, too, because they shut out the Reds over the final four innings. “

    Interesting question to ask.

    Agreed with Craig, though. If this is a big enough deal that you are going to complain after the game, complain during the game. Actions speak louder than words.

  4. ecp said...

    That’s a lot of whining in one day for what is supposed to be a classy organization.  It looks like sour grapes to me, as if they need an excuse for losing to the Reds other than the notion that they just plain old got beat.

  5. Breaker said...

    This is off topic, but Jim U’s link illustrates one of my pet peeves:  Naming any controversy “something-GATE”.  ‘Gate’ is not a suffix.  The Watergate scandal is called that because it took place at the WATERGATE Hotel complex.  Adding ‘gate’ does not, in any reality, actually confirm something as a scandal or controversy.  Here ends today’s rant.

  6. scatterbrian said...

    Damn you Craig! I hate to have to come to the defense of TLR/Duncan, but they actually have set a precedent regarding this situation. The following is TLR after the Kenny Rogers-pine tar game from the 2006 World Series:

    “I was not going to be part of the BS where I was going to ask the umpire to go to the mound and undress the pitcher,” La Russa said. “I alerted (plate umpire Alfonso Marquez). I said, ‘I hope it gets fixed. If it doesn’t get fixed, then I’ll take the next step.’”

    Linky

  7. Chris H. said...

    Breaker:

    Are you one of those people that also didn’t celebrate the new millennium until 2001?

    Yes, technically, you are correct, but the -gate suffix has colloquially come to mean scandal.  You can either accept that or not, but your decision won’t change a thing, and most people won’t care.

  8. Breaker said...

    Chris H:

    No, I surrendered to the masses and partied like it was 1999.

    And I fully appreciate that my lone voice will not change a thing in this regard – especially on an item that no one gives a damn about.  But I do thrive on being technically correct!

  9. Greg Simons said...

    Breaker, your voice is not a lone one.  “XXX-gate” is foolish and completely uncreative.  And the new milleniumd didn’t start until 2001, though I accepted the partying, too.

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