MLB: No evidence Rivera was throwing a spitter

I suppose this closes the case:

The Commissioners Office reviewed available video and still photography from Mariano Rivera spitting toward a baseball in ALCS Game 3 and “found no evidence that Rivera spit on the ball,” a spokesman for the commissioner told the Post.

The initial reaction by the league had been that the video plus still pictures they have of the incident were inconclusive if Rivera actually spit on or near the ball. But after further review of what they had, the Commissioners Office determined that Rivera was not spitting directly on the ball.

Kudos for MLB to looking into it. As I said in the earlier post, there was certainly nothing conclusive about the video — another angle clearly showing spit smacking the ball would be the minimum necessary for this to be taken to the next level — but it was interesting enough that it warranted scrutiny.

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14 years ago

You’re kidding yourself if you think official word from the commissioner will quiet the conspiracy theorist. See, e.g. The Warren Commission and the lone gunmen theory.

14 years ago

You’re kidding yourself if you think a report from the commissioner’s office will quiet the conspiracy theorists. See e.g. the Warren Commission and the Lone Gunman Theory.

14 years ago

  Seems like today you hit the Daily Double and even were able to get people who know the secret handshake upset.
    A picture, or video, can tell a thousand words but can be more manipulated than verse sometimes.
    The Arod ass-grab in the dugout was either taken by a 5 year old Magnavox cellphone or photoshopped out of existance, but is absolutely hilarious. I don’t know what inning it was taken in, but I suspect it was when Joe lost his concentration.

14 years ago

@YankeesfanLen, if I remember right, the ass grab was in response to Damon’s home run.

14 years ago

Deadspin now has some still shots up that (seem to) show the loogy in question passing in front of the ball and onward toward the ground.

John Willumsen
14 years ago

Len—The ass grab is 100% real. It came in the 5th when Damon hit his HR.  A-Rod came charging over from the other side of the dugout, ran towards the stairs, essentially ran into Jeter, stopped short, grabbed him by both buttocks and simultaneously squeezed and pushed Jeter forward and up out of the dugout. He squeezed so hard he ended up essentially holding on to Jeter’s pants. I rewound and watched this unfold about half a dozen times, even forcing my girlfriend to come watch it. It was really quite a sight.

Greg Simons
14 years ago

Not that I think there’s a “protect Mo’s rep” conspiracy going on – it’s almost certainly just the camera angle – but I wouldn’t take MLB at it’s word about much.

Innocent Bystander
14 years ago

Now if MLB would only review crappy umping with even a degree of the same scrutiny…

Mode:Theif and Lair
14 years ago

As I said in the earlier post, there was certainly nothing conclusive about the video

True, you said that.  But you also had a Q&A session where the questions were those of the defense, but your feelings came out in the answers as a prosecutor of his guilt.

If it were a guy that I admired and respected I think I would spend more time on his defense and wait for more proof, but that’s just me.

Keith Hernandez
14 years ago

There had to be….

A Second Spitter!  Maybe Roger McDowell behind the bushes by that gravelly road…

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

Mode:  I’ll grant you that.  My reason for it was because I think everyone was so quick to dismiss the possibility that anything untoward was happening simply because Rivera is a good guy with a great track record. That’s relevent sure, but I don’t think it’s dispositive (and given that I wasn’t suggesting that he’s historically thrown spitballs—only asking whether he was doing it here—I don’t know that history was relevant). I thought it worthy to challenge people’s thinking on it.  I see why that may have set some people off.

14 years ago

When is everyone going to wake up and realize that players over the age of 37 (or really even 35+) who still dominate their sport need to be viewed with skepticism?  Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Brett Favre, Lance Armstrong – these guys SHOULD have their (recent) accomplishments questioned because guess what? Men in their upper 30’s and early 40’s that can compete athletically at a higher level than men in their 20’s is not natural! Things break down more easily, recovery takes longer, vision diminishes, flexibility lessens. 

Now I’M NOT saying that all these guys are cheating (one way or the other), but to just assume they are doing everything on the up-and-up just because they’ve never been caught is foolish.

Nick Steiner
14 years ago

Jeff Zimmerman at BtB raised and interesting point.  It’s possible that Rivera may have done this with the intention of being caught, as having opposing batters think he throws a spitball could give him a physiological edge.

Here is the article:

Jim Casey
14 years ago

No one hates the Yankees more than I do, or wants them to lose more than I do. However, this is a bunch of crap. Rivera’s pitches do not move like spitballs, they move like cutters. Spitballs dive into the dirt. Have you seen him throw anything like that? Besides, when you throw a spitter, and I know, since I’ve thrown plenty, you don’t spit on the ball, you get some kind of moisture on your fingertips, the index and middle fingers. However, the psychological edge that is gained by having batters think that, besides that cutter, he also might throw a spitter, is not to be minimized.