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The Cardinals are complaining about slick balls again

Apr 6, 2010, 9:44 AM EDT

chris carpenter headshot cardinals.jpgLast October John Smoltz and the Cardinals complained mightily about the balls being used in Great American Ballpark. The beef: that the Reds don’t properly rub them down with Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud to remove the gloss as God and Major League Baseball rule 3.01(c) intends.

They’re at it again, with Chris Carpenter saying after yesterday’s game that the baseballs
were not prepared properly. Carpenter: “(Either) they make an adjustment or look into it, (or) ultimately,
somebody’s going to get hurt. Something’s going to get
away, or whatever, and end up getting somebody in the head. I hope that
doesn’t happen.”

This is the power of suggestion at work. Last fall Carpenter’s manager and the future Hall-of-Famer made a big stink over it. He knows for weeks if not months ahead of time that he’ll make his season debut in Cincinnati. I think he just psyched himself out over it.

And to be sure: the rule linked above says that it’s the umpires — not the home team who supplies the balls — who has final sign-off on whether they’re acceptable for game play.  The umpires for yesterday’s game thought the balls were OK. The Reds’ pitchers had to use the same balls and they didn’t complain. Unless Carpenter thinks they’re all in on the conspiracy too, I’m chalking this up to self-inflicted delusion.

  1. BC - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    I mean seriously, can’t they just get some Lotrimin AF? That’ll take care of their… oh waitaminit, I didn’t read the whole article….

  2. Doug - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Leave it to the whiny carDUInals – the ONLY team to play the game correctly!

  3. Empty the Bench - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    “future Hall-of-Famer”
    Really? I don’t mean to get into one of those debates, but Carpenter … really?

  4. Nick C - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Carpenter is not the type to make false claims. He is all business. They probably assumed the incident at the end of last year was isolated. Of course, taking a shot at the Cardinals and Tony LaRussa is SOP for blogs and commenters.

  5. sjp - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    The “future HOFer” was Smoltz, not Carpenter.

  6. ecp - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    The “future hall-of-famer” reference was to Smoltz, but you have to read the sentence real carefully to get that. The “last fall” part tips you off; it was Smoltz who made the complaint then.

  7. Levi Stahlq - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    He’s calling Smoltz the future-HOFer, not Carpenter; the reference in that sentence is to Smoltz’s complaint last fall.

  8. willmose - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Next time the Braves play at Reds, perhaps the Reds will paint the centerfield section white. Both teams will have to bat against a white background. Since both team will have the same hitting background what would be the problem? The fact is that a white hitting background would be more of a problem for Chipper Jones than it would be for Ryan Hanigan. Just like slick baseballs are more of a problem for Carpenter than Harang. There is no conspiracy just the Reds trying to get an edge. Should I say that the umpires are lazy?

  9. (Not That) Tom - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    I think he was referring to Smoltz.

  10. all4tookie - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    FWIW, Carpenter’s line: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 ER, 88 pitches, 55 strikes.
    It seems like if he was looking for an excuse he would have saved it for a bad outing. He didn’t exactly struggle, but he did give up 2 HR on pitches uncharacteristically up in the zone (only gave up 7 HR all of last season).

  11. sbarwick - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Did the Cardinals complain about they’re ability to win with this situation. No, they’re concerned for the safety of the players.
    Stand still as a ball passes your head @ 90 mph and ask yourself if you wouldn’t question the quality of the balls, the skill of the pitcher or your ability to get out of the way.
    The Cardinals are a class organization as are the Reds. If this is a real concern for them they should speak their respective minds. If they’re incorrect so be it.
    Mocking them would show your ones stupidity. Let the writers write…they need readers. esp. ones who don’t think for themselves.

  12. GimmeSomeSteel - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    The Reds are a class organization? You’ve set the bar quite low when it comes to class. Perhaps you meant it as in “I didn’t say what KIND of class.”
    They’re better than the Mutts or Marlins, I’ll give them that.

  13. The Common Man - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    This headline was misleading Craig. I expected something completely different.

  14. oh Hal - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Carpenter is exactly the kind of guy to engage in “gamesmanship.” The comment about a ball hitting someone in the head is a veiled threat. When His Majesty, the Most High Pujols went out of the basepath, spikes up and injured a player, his defense was that his manager had instructed him to do so. Carpenter was crying about the strike zone as well. Yes pitches that are low and off the plate should be called balls, but Tony and Carpenter and the rest want special treatment. They believe that they are royalty and are entitled.

  15. (Not That) Tom - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    They should have done what Will did and shoved an old lady’s wig down there.
    Wait, what?

  16. Doug - Apr 6, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Exactly. So sick of the ‘high road’ that apparently only the carDUInals and their dentally challenged fan base can travel. We get it – the carDUInals are God’s gift to the game and the only team to play it correctly. They don’t untuck their shirts, they don’t gloat after a big play and they don’t drive drunk. Oh wait – forget that last one.

  17. Doug - Apr 6, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Remember – this is the same ‘classy’ organization that turned a blind eye to one of the biggest cheats the game has ever seen – and then hired him to be a hitting coach. Super classy!

  18. Nick C - Apr 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Lot of hate for the Cards here. That comes with winning. It’s called jealousy. Its understandable that Brewers and Reds fans would be jealous of an organization that wins regularly.

  19. willmose - Apr 6, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Dougie boy to cheat you have to break the rules. When McGwire used steriods their use was not against the rules. I guess cheating means something else to you, but in games cheating means breaking the rules. Like God cheated the Mets out of the pennant by causing all those darn injuries. If next year the rules change and players can’t bat left handed does that make the Babe a cheater? Anyway, you should be glad that McGwire is the hitting coach because as Peter Gannons says McGwire will be a fatal distraction for the Cardinals. I’m guessing Peter means 10 to 20 games in the standings.

  20. Doug - Apr 6, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    You forgot to mention that they are the ONLY franchise that plays the game correctly. So let’s get this straight:
    Slick balls – BAD
    DUI’s – GOOD
    Untucking, fist pumping, general gloating – BAD (Unless you are you are the second coming of Christ aka Puljos)
    Cheating & HGH – GOOD
    So there you go…if you ever wanted to be a carDUInal fan there’s a start for you!

  21. Doug - Apr 6, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    BTW…it is not jealousy. It is just pointing out stupid hypocrisy when I see it.

  22. Nick C - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    It’s ok to be jealous. You’ll always have Bob Uecker. Try not to be too bitter.

  23. Doug - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Just pointing out that carDUInal fans reside in a glass house. They have this holier-than-thou attitude about the game and think that the St. Louis franchise is the only one to play it right. They will start crying at the drop of a hat (or the untuck of a shirt) meanwhile, they have embraced and employed (and re-employed) one the game’s great cheats. Just saying.

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