By now you may have seen the video on YouTube that seems to show Jose Valverde prepping a spitter this weekend in Cincinnati. If you haven’t, just follow the link below.
Certainly looks pretty bad for the Potato. What do you all think?
For my two cents: baseball has a long and illustrious history of cheating – particularly by pitchers. Gaylord Perry and the Niekros are, after all, in the Hall of Fame. Any time a reliever seems to obsessively adjust his cap, fondling a strange, dark smudge in the process, I wonder if he’s got some illicit substance or another up there. Ball tampering seems to be pretty common, to give the ball a little more bite or just to make it a little less white (and hence harder for the batter to pick up). After Valverde spits in his glove, he is then seen to stick his hand in the dirt and then stuff it in the glove too.
Should Tigers fans be condemning him? I would say no. Can a pitcher get an advantage that way? Obviously. Is that advantage unfair? Now that one is a little trickier to answer. If a lot of guys are doing it – and virtually nobody is ever called out on it… you could argue that we should be disappointed if our guys aren’t tampering. Unlike PEDs, we aren’t talking about a way to get an ‘edge’ that has negative long-term health consequences.