1974 Cy Young Award winner (and “Ball Four” alumnus) Mike Marshall got it right: Baseball Is An Ass. (See Keith Olbermann’s tweet below.)
Here’s the timeline:
*Pitchers cheat for years via the use of gripping substances. MLB and its teams, managers, umpires and stooge media look the other way. The hitters are too stupid to complain. The teams aid and abet, going so far as to buy Spider Tack in bulk.
*As with steroids a couple decades back, MLB finally notices the obvious and suddenly decides to crack down, loudly announcing its flaws to the world.
*Pitchers bitch about being denied their right to cheat.
*Umpires search pitchers for stickum. Hilarity ensues. The New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom handled it well. Washington’s Max Scherzer and Oakland’s Sergio Romo didn’t. (See below.)
Scherzer was a bit of a victim, having been searched three times and coming up clean. Managers shouldn’t be allowed to request a check, like Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi did. It shouldn’t be solely at the discretion of the umpires and unavailable to use for gamesmanship.
Hardcore baseball fans will watch no matter what.
But all this makes casual fans reach for the clicker.
Tip from Captain Obvious: Don’t search the pitchers. Check the baseballs for gripping substances. The baseball isn’t trying to hide anything.
Thumbnail via Getty Images