Today in baseball: Everybody’s talking at me

October 25th, 2006 → 11:56 am @

In an effort to spice up one of the least watched World Series in history, sports writers around the country keep on searching for some gold in what’s now commonly known as Dirtgate. A couple of my favorite pieces (blatantly cribbed from Buster Olney’s daily wrapup on are this NY Post story by Mike Vaccaro and this piece by the Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliott.

Vaccaro finds a new angle with which to slam Tony La Russa and, well, I’m a fan of any story that slams Tony La Russa (and I’m a fan of Vaccaro’s to boot). In the wake of Tony’s claiming he didn’t ask the umps to inspect Kenny Rogers’s hand during Game 2 because he didn’t want to hurt the purity of the game, Mike suggests La Russa apply for the job of Little League commissioner: “Then he can he can bathe himself in sanctimony all he likes and he can tell us all again about the high plane of baseball ethics he subscribes to.” My favorite section is the following: “La Russa knows the rules – jeez, if there’s one thing we can say with certainty in baseball, it’s that La Russa knows the rules. The same guy who held up Game 6 of the NLCS by questioning a balls-and-strikes count when it was obvious to everyone in Shea Stadium what the count was – apparently, that was well within the spirit of competition – didn’t go the distance this time.” Also, my obligatory sunglasses rant: Tony, man, take off the fucking shades already. Even Corey Hart is lets people see his naked face these days.

Elliott, taking a more humorous approach, chronicles all the varied instances of cheating, touching on well-known suspects (Gaylord Perry) and less-known ones (Nolan Ryan). My favorite anecdote involves Eck; this story is from the 1989 ALCS in which the A’s played the Jays. “The night before, a clubhouse attendant from Dunedin, helping with the laundry, found an emery board in Eckersley’s glove. When Eckersley finished his warm-up, and with the A’s leading 4-2, [Toronot manager Cito] Gaston approached plate ump Rick Reed asking him to check the closer’s glove. Crew chief Davey Phillips arrived and checked Eckersley’s glove. Finding nothing, he returned to Gaston, who claimed Eck put something down his pants. ‘I can’t ask him to pull down his pants in front of 50,000 people,’ Phillips said. When Eckersley struck out Junior Felix to end the game, A’s catcher Terry Steinbach gave the Jays dugout the finger. It wasn’t inspected, either.” No ambiguity about that, and for that reason alone it might top the infamous Derek Lowe crotchchop as one of the best screw-you’s in baseball history.

Post Categories: Cheating & Dennis Eckersley & Mike Vaccaro & Oblique references to Harry Nilsson songs & Sports Reporters & Tony La Russa & Uncategorized