Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, October 24, 2013

LBS: John Lester used Vaseline on his glove?

Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester turned in a phenomenal outing against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night, but some are accusing him of cheating. Tyler Melling, a pitcher who plays ball in the Cards’ minor league system, posted a photo during the game that has caused some speculation.

Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: john lester, red sox, slippery when wet, world series

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4582348)
   2. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4582363)
I've never seen green Vaseline before.

If I were to cheat by placing something in my glove, I'd surely pick something that wasn't colored in such a way as it would be as easy to spot as something green on a black background.

   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4582366)
He should get a 211 game suspension.
   4. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4582367)
C.J. Nitkowski twatted that it's not Vaseline, which makes sense.

Legit accusation here, but it's not Vaseline.

Cold weather, you're not trying to make the ball more slippery, it's the opposite.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4582371)
That is clearly snot.
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4582372)
Seems like this could be solved by looking at some of the baseballs from last night's game.

He was greasing the ball and nobody on the other team or the umpire noticed something fishy/green/sticky with the ball at any point?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4582373)
Vagisil? Crisco? Bardol?

   8. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4582381)
Vagisil? Crisco? Bardol?


I believe it's Ectoplasmic residue.

   9. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4582382)
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4582385)
Lester's clinched his 2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award. And we finally have the right song to replace "Sweet Caroline."
   11. AROM Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4582386)
Cat puke?
   12. Shredder Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4582390)
He was greasing the ball and nobody on the other team or the umpire noticed something fishy/green/sticky with the ball at any point?
The umpire, maybe, but why would anyone on the Cardinals notice anything? Assuming the color rubs off, there are pretty much zero times that a Cardinals player would be touching a ball that was thrown by Lester, seeing as how every inning starts with a new ball these days.
   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4582395)
The umpire, maybe, but why would anyone on the Cardinals notice anything?


I'd think a hitter would notice a pitch coming at him with a green splotch on one side of the ball.
   14. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4582398)
If there was ANYTHING to ##### about during the game, rest assured the Cardinals would have seized upon the opportunity.
   15. Ron J2 Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4582406)
#6 One of the fallouts from the Don Sutton affair decades ago. Umps don't care about the state of the ball. Unless they can demonstrate how the ball was altered they won't do anything.

Doubt this? Think back to the days of the accusations against Mike Scott. Teams would collect plenty of scuffed balls but the umps wouldn't do anything.

   16. Shredder Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4582416)
I'd think a hitter would notice a pitch coming at him with a green splotch on one side of the ball.
Maybe, but most of that type of stuff rubs on clear. Plus, the ball is coming in kinda fast, and with a lot of spin. I doubt he was rubbing the junk over a full quarter of the ball or anything.
   17. bunyon Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4582418)
Or very thick, Shredder. I through a reasonable spitter once upon a time. Moved a lot. Of course, I only had a vague sense of the direction the ball was travelling. Anyway, you don't glop stuff on. Just a tiny little bit is necessary.
   18. gef the talking mongoose Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4582428)
John Lester used Vaseline on his glove


Isn't that, like, really bad for latex?
   19. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4582445)
Tyler Melling, a pitcher who plays ball in the Cards’ minor league system,


Come on McCann, you can do better than that.
   20. JL Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4582452)
Or very thick, Shredder.


After he touches that spot on the glove, his hand moves to the back of his hat, where he seems to rub his fingers. Perhaps removing excess of whatever he has on his fingers?
   21. Bob Tufts Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4582461)
All you need for grip is to get a pine tar stick and rub it under the brim of your hat.

You grab the lid with thumb and finger and you will have just enough pine tar for a good grip on a baseball on a cold night where it feels you are holding a billiard ball. If they bothered to look under most pitcher's caps, there would be a dark spot where the pine tar has been put.

Vaseline? In this case, nonsense. As mentioned above, you want to improve your grip on the baseball, not reduce it. But, I did know pitchers that put Vaseline under the stitches in their glove and they pressed down on the stitch to access the goo.
   22. bunyon Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4582462)
@20, yes, that would be consistent.
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4582463)
Chicken grease?
   24. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 24, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4582464)
   25. The Marksist Posted: October 24, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4582485)
Sox beat writer Alex Speier talked to Dan Brooks of BrooksBaseball to see if the data supports the doctoring claim: nope.
   26. Rusty Mitchener Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4582500)
You don't need any data to see he was doctoring the ball other than the video.

Maybe the movement data was similar because Lester always does that. Or maybe his movement would have been worse last night had he not done it. Or maybe it's a psychological thing that doesn't actually help. I don't know. I only know that there was something on his glove that Lester purposely wiped his index and middle fingers on.

https://vine.co/v/hpAnrTTIXLE

Nothing will come of this specific incident, but I hope MLB decides to do something about this stuff in the offseason.
   27. Dale Sams Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4582502)
I wonder if catchers have ever doctored the ball before returning it.
   28. Dale Sams Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4582503)
The funny thing is, billiard balls aren't that slick. You can get a much better grip than on a slick, new, cold baseball.
   29. Gch exhales the vast drunken folly of Epicurus Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4582504)
I wonder if catchers have ever doctored the ball before returning it.


Gil Hodges claimed that Elston Howard used his shin guards to slice up the baseball for Whitey Ford and other Yankee pitchers.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4582505)
I thought it was the cards fielders with vaseline on their gloves.

surely a violation of the unwritten rules for a minor leaguer to tweet criticism of a veteran.

I had never considered it before ... is it illegal for a position player to use a foreign substance assuming he doesn't share it with the pitcher?
   31. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4582513)
You don't need any data to see he was doctoring the ball other than the video.

Yup, hard to get a better smoking gun than that.
   32. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4582521)
John Farrell said he put rosin on his glove because he gets sweaty.

The rules say you're not allowed to put rosin on your glove.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4582524)
I remember Posada was accused of scuffing balls for Jason Grimsley. Or something like that.
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4582528)
Where is the conclusive video? #26 links to a grainy still.
   35. Gch exhales the vast drunken folly of Epicurus Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4582531)
I remember Posada was accused of scuffing balls for Jason Grimsley. Or something like that.


AFAICT, Posada was only accused of hiding the evidence:

After the second inning of his strong four-inning stint against the Seattle yesterday, the Mariners' manager, Lou Piniella, went to the home-plate umpire, John Hirschbeck, and accused Grimsley of doctoring the ball. Grimsley's pitches, Piniella maintained, were sinking and moving too much to be a product of natural forces.

[...]

Piniella noted, as well, that when the fifth and sixth innings ended with strikeouts, the Yankees' catcher Jorge Posada walked off the field with the ball and flipped it into the stands -- in other words, in Piniella's mind, Posada was laundering evidence.
   36. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4582532)
perfect psychological weapon for Lester next time he takes the hill.

All he has to do is paint a green spot on his glove and let the question's in the hitters minds begin!
   37. Rusty Mitchener Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4582537)
#26 links to a video.
   38. esseff Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4582541)
If there was ANYTHING to ##### about during the game, rest assured the Cardinals would have seized upon the opportunity.


That's not how it worked when Kenny Rogers beat them in '06. Not from the team, anyway. A lot of fans whined and criticized LaRussa for not making it an issue.

EDIT: "It" being the smudge on Rogers' hand.
   39. Joe Bivens, Floundering Pumpkin Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4582545)
The funny thing is, billiard balls aren't that slick. You can get a much better grip than on a slick, new, cold baseball.

Billiard balls are 1/2 to 2/3 the circumference of a baseball, and probably 2 to 3 times as heavy.
   40. Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his Handle Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4582554)
Billiard balls are 1/2 to 2/3 the circumference of a baseball, and probably 2 to 3 times as heavy.

That's not anything close to accurate. Depends on the type of billiard ball obviously, but typically they weight about 5.5 - 6 oz, vs 5 - 5.25 for a baseball. Diameter about 2.25 inches for billiard vs 3 for baseball. I am too lazy to work out the circumferences.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4582559)
I've seen the video. I've not seen anything even approaching conclusive.
   42. tfbg9 Posted: October 24, 2013 at 07:08 PM (#4582567)
The Cards ordered the minor league dude to remove his tweet. Why?...it's a non-issue.
   43. Joe Bivens, Floundering Pumpkin Posted: October 24, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4582568)
3/4
   44. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4582576)
Vagisil? Crisco? Bardol?


Kraftwerk? Falco? Hasselhoff?
   45. Walt Davis Posted: October 24, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4582577)
Too lazy to multiply by pi?

Mmmmm ... pi

   46. jacjacatk Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4582690)
Without reading the thread first.

Gloves don't usually "wear" like that, so that's suspicious, but that would be the absolute worst job of hiding a foreign substance in the history of baseball. As to the glove touching alluded to, and possibly the wear on the glove, pitchers are a weird bunch. My son pitches for his HS and travel teams and manically touches the bill of his cap between pitches throughout his appearances to the point of putting odd wear on the bill of his cap (no foreign substances involved). Until I mentioned it to him, he wasn't even aware he was doing it.
   47. madvillain Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4582788)
I've seen the video. I've not seen anything even approaching conclusive.


well that settles it.
   48. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4582847)
This nonsense reminds me of the pathetic Bucholz accusations a few months ago.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog'Sports Center' Anchor Agrees Politics is Hurting ESPN
(57 - 12:24am, May 01)
Last: cmd600

NewsblogOTP 24 April 2017: Talking politics (and baseball) with the mayor
(968 - 12:22am, May 01)
Last: Ray (RDP)

Sox TherapyWitty Minor League Thread Title Here
(8 - 12:10am, May 01)
Last: Jose is El Absurd Pollo

NewsblogFred Lynn might've been a Hall of Famer if he'd stayed healthy — or in Boston
(107 - 12:06am, May 01)
Last: Jay Z

NewsblogRed Sox sorely miss David Ortiz's bat, presence
(3 - 12:02am, May 01)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogIf not OMNICHATTER, what? If not April 30, 2017, when?
(145 - 11:43pm, Apr 30)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogMets face more injury drama as Noah Syndergaard refuses MRI, plans to start Sunday
(37 - 11:16pm, Apr 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogAsk BA: How Tough Is The Classification Jump? | BaseballAmerica.com
(8 - 11:00pm, Apr 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: March-April 2017 Soccer Thread
(364 - 10:25pm, Apr 30)
Last: SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY

NewsblogDodgers hit 3 straight homers in walk-off win | MLB.com
(10 - 9:46pm, Apr 30)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogOT - March 2017 NBA thread
(2641 - 9:29pm, Apr 30)
Last: STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel

NewsblogFox Business: Latest On Jeb & Jeter Marlins Bid
(28 - 9:23pm, Apr 30)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogSources: Nationals CF Adam Eaton done for season with torn left ACL
(26 - 9:15pm, Apr 30)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogSunday Notes: Mendoza-Hendricks Nerdiness, Selsky as Dangerfield, Edwards Evoked ’86, more | FanGraphs Baseball
(6 - 8:13pm, Apr 30)
Last: Bote Man

NewsblogDiamondbacks' Shelby Miller opts for elbow surgery, ending season
(10 - 7:06pm, Apr 30)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

Page rendered in 0.4626 seconds
47 querie(s) executed