OT: Valverde throws a spit ball. Video included
Sandpaper is even better than that...
A bent in half beer bottle cap wedged in your glove. Boom. Call Super Mario because you just got 1 up'd.
Except for when they found out about Brian Moehler's. Dude's career went totally downhill (back where it should've been in the first place, really) when they busted him for it.
...he could have thrown the notorious Booger Ball, made famous back in 1888 by pitcher Cinders O'Brien who played for the Cleveland Infants. "I ain't keepin' 'em in my nose or puttin' 'em in my mustache... the ball's the next best place."
(ed: This was an "Onionized" post. No offense meant to Cinders or his progeny.)
I hope it was just him hiding his chewing tobacco from the umpires (they're not allowed to chew in sight of fans, right?)
Disclaimer: I know nothing about baseball.
Does this matter? Is it a sign of disrespect or does it actually offer some kind of competitive advantage?
Only if you're chewing, which he wasn't. Saliva doesn't have the consistency to put extra spin on the ball. The advantage is in darkening the ball with tobacco juice, making it harder to see. If you're not chewing, the saliva is clearr and it does jack diddly.
It is against the rules, though.
Actually, the spit on a spitball alters the aerodynamics and causes it to break atypically.
When I get home I'll try to find the study I read that said saliva on a ball has less of an effect than a 10% increase in humidity. Other ball doctoring methods like pine tar or suntan lotion affect how the ball comes out of the hand, effecting spin and break, but saliva doesn't have the consistency to really effect that.
It appears he also stuck dirt to the ball with the spit. If so, it gives the ball greater bite on the breaking pitches and cut fastballs
Humidity affects the entire ball so has no effect on the consistency of spin. It's having the liquid, however thin, on only one part of the ball that causes the irregular aerodynamics. It's like having a mudball in golf.
If he didn't think it worked he wouldn't take the risk.
thought he was taking a risk he would not have made it so incredibly obvious. Papa has a lot of almost ticks and purposeless movements while on the mound, an almost endless stream of nervous energy. What he did is clear, what also appears to be clear is that his actions lacked any malice aforethought. I really don't think what he did was intentional and I don't think he will be disciplined for it.
It's been a long time since I've been in an aerodynamics classroom, but Reynolds number is a factor here. As humidity increases, rho increases, and the Reynolds number goes up. A higher Reynolds number will yield (I think) sharper bite on a breaking ball (or cutter or splitter or whatever).
So yes, changes in humidity have an effect.
The spitter is a lot like a fast knuckler. It decreases the spin. allowing any surface anomalies, including excess moisture on part of the ball, to have a greater effect on the ball. Usually, this results in a "wicked curve" or a ball that "drops off the table" if done right. Valverde's pitch didn't really move a lot, so I doubt that he threw a real spitter.
The best I ever saw was around 1983 during an ESPN game between Dennis Lamp and Mike Boddicker. It started pouring and they kept playing to try and get five innings in. Both pitchers were making the ball fall off of the table.
Anyway, umps, players, and coaches know when a guy starts making his pitches move more than they normally do. It's pretty obvious when it happens, at least if it's done right.
In this day and age, it isn't a big deal. They rotate the balls so frequently, that pitchers just aren't able to rough the balls up as much as they used to. Plus, pitchers have learned to put tons of movement on pitches without scuffing up spitting on the ball.
To me, the part that makes me feel uneasy about this is that immediately after spitting on the ball, he reaches down to the dirt, then goes to the ball with his hand. The mixture of dirt and spit could give him a better grip on the ball. He threw a fastball though, so it doesn't seem like he was doing it to try to get a better grip on his splitter or a breaking ball. I don't know if the spit/dirt mixture would give his fastball better movement, but it doesn't seem like it would.
Anyway, I'll be really surprised if anything comes of this. Also, if you want an interesting read, check out the Wikipedia article on the spitball.
he went down to the dirt as he does almost every pitch to "show" that he went to the dirt.
the same thing they down then they "wipe thier hand off" after licking it
this is almost certainly about grip. The spitter moves like a knuckleball because of its lack of spin and both are notoriously difficult to control. If Valverde's been secretly mastering the spitter, that would be a monumental waste of time.
BTW, a reporter once asked Gaylord Perry's 5 year old daughter if he threw a grease ball. She replied on cue, "it's a hard slider."
...if he applied foreign substances to the baseball, Perry once replied "Nope, Vaseline is made in the USA". The MLB was none too pleased
Got to be less of a competitive disadvantage than having to stare down that dye job.
Concerned about the rules?
Gamesmanship at its finest, Kenny Rogers approves.
Is it any worse than when Papa Grande licks his fingers and grabs dirt before every pitch?
Dallas Latos retweeted someone elses post on it.
You can never trust a lady named Dallas.
Or one who does Dallas.
It can be a psychological advantage as well. Anything to fuck with the Cubbies the next couple of days.
Speaking as a Cub fan, playing the Cubbies should be all the advantage the Tigers need.
Speaking as a Tigers fan, this is exactly the kind of series we like to get swept in.
#1 We Suck.
#2 Does anyone wanna pay Soriano to be a DH? He's awful hot right now
#3 - See #2
#4 We just won the latest Cuban sweepstakes for Soler. 2015 is our year baby!
#5 You know we're absolutely awful when we're not even saying wait-till-next-year. We know it'll be a few years
#6 There are few better places to watch a game than Wrigley. It's going to be 75 and sunny. Enjoy it
I'm with Professor X. I think Tigers and Cubs square off in the World Series just like 1907 1908 1935 1945. Cubs won the first two matchups the Tigers the next two. Time for the rubber match
I actually just bought a hand sketched version of this picture at the Old Town Art Fair
Go Cubs Go
That is pretty sweet. Your pic is from 1935 and the one I posted is from 1945
I'd be totally down for a Tigs-Cubs World Series.
Yeah baby! Go Cubbies!!
Hey, whatever helps him get through a 1-2-3 inning. Baseball has acceptable cheating and unacceptable cheating and spitballs are squarely on the acceptable side. I'm OK with it.
Only if he doesn't get caught...and it seems as if he has been caught so the question is, will the MLB do anything? What should it do?
They'll see this video. Hell, I'm surprised it hasn't been removed already. MLB has embraced the digital age by making any MLB content ridiculously hard to see online. You can't get any video through youtube or other normal sites. Why? Because MLB is crazy dumb.
"Crisco. Bardol. Vagisil. Any one of them will give an extra two or three inches drop on your curve ball. Of course if the umps are watching me real close, I'll put a little jalapeno up my nose and if I need to load the ball up, I just wipe my nose."
Can they prove it?
Video clearly shows Valverde spitting into his glove, but is that enough? Hell, ball players constantly spit in their gloves, so he could probably get away with that explanation and a slap on the wrist.
To be fair, it's not clear if he actually spit on the ball or just somewhere in his glove.
Valverde ended up throwing a 4-seam fastball on that pitch - one that came up and in to the batter. Spit balls are used to make the ball drop and break. If he were throwing spit ball, he would have thrown his splitter, which sinks.
The video doesn't look real good, but I'd chalk it up to just an unfortunate circumstance.
I meant an unfortunate coincidence. We'll chalk that one up to frying my brain studying for the bar exam...
It looks like he is chewing bubble gum and when others are seeing him work up a spit, I see him positioning the gum, as he then pushes his tongue out to stretch it. I dare anyone to do that (like you are preparing to blow a bubble) and then spit without winding up with the gum in your glove.
he has so many superstitions that he may not have been spitting on the ball, he might have been blowing on the ball, or attempting to blow a bubble in his glove. I watched the video a few times and I did not see any spit go into his glove BUT he does look like he spits in his glove. Hopefully he knocks this ritual off fast..
Verlander has something on his hairline on his neck. He's constantly putting his hand back there and lets face it his curveball is sick when he's on.
I'm sure this is sacrilage and will get appropriately downvoted but watch closely his next outing. At best its sweat he's reaching for, at worst its something in his hair.
Hmm, yes, I think you're onto something. And Joaquin Benoit MUST have something hidden on his forehead! If you watch carefully, he always wipes his hand across his forehead between pitches. I'm guessing he had some sort of vaseline pump installed in his forehead, and he gets a little bit on his hand every time he wipes.
It should be noted that this really doesn't affect the ball too much. It's very difficult to throw a "spitball" with just spit. It's usually done with vaseline, or in Gaylord Perry's case, by soaking your jersey in soapy water so your sweat is slippery.
A spitball is thrown by pinching the ball at release, causing a bit of a knuckling-sinker. Valverde was pretty much throwing fastballs.
Yeah, he broke the rules. But I really don't feel like it's that big of a deal considering you can spit on your fingers as long as you're off the mound.