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Dirk Hayhurst: Jose Valverde is an amateur when it comes to spitballing

Jun 11, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT


Dirk Hayhurst is not impressed with the hubbub over Jose Valverde‘s possible/maybe spitball from last night. He’s actually not all that impressed with the spitball itself either, assuming it was one.

Because, as The Garfoose notes, only amateurs use spit anyway. Pros use sun screen or Fixodent or Firm Grip or shaving gel or Vaseline. For starters, anyway.  If you’re into advanced doctoring …

Try Kramergesic or Red Hot. Burns a little, but it also leaves a nice slime in it’s wake. If you get asked about it, you can say it’s medicinal. Plus, a mixture of lube and sweat works far better than spit or snot… Unless you prefer snot, in which case, rub a little Red Hot in your nose and get it running good. Just don’t get it in your eyes or you’ll leave the game in tears regardless of your performance. Finally, there is always AstroGlide, or good old KY… Trust me, someone in the locker room has it.

Dirk says everyone does it. And it’s not just the guys like him (or the fictional Eddie Harris, whom he does quote, so don’t bother) who spent years trying to hang on who do it.  This morning he tweeted that even Greg Maddux did. They all do, he says, if for no other reason than to give hitters one more thing to think about.

I’m inclined to believe an insider like Hayhurst. It’s still against the rules and the “everybody does it” defense doesn’t wash on a case-by-case basis even if it does put a given subject like throwing a spitter (or taking steroids for that matter) in greater context. But he’s probably right that our reaction to instances of guys getting caught with their hand in the Vaseline jar should be less “Oh my stars and garters!” and more “Heh, whaddaya know? Someone was obvious enough to get caught.”

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I went to Havard with Sid Finch and he was a master of the spit-ball.
    A mix of butt-crack sweat and Vaseline, I used to watch him constantly “adjusting” his uniform when he needed a big out.
    Too bad the Mets ruined him.

    • nixonotis - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      I think the “mix of butt-crack sweat and vaseline” would be most offensive to Finch’s catcher.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        Jaynes Roderick was his catcher Coencidently

      • harrysatchel - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        I find it hard to believe that a Harvard man would spell “Coincidently” wrong. It’s absolutely astounding Old Bean.

        I just imagine that Harvard folk call each other that

  2. nategearhart - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    I have a lot of respect for Hayhurst, but I disagreed with his tweets this morning, especially the whole “hey, everybody does it” attitude. It’s against the rules, it’s been against the rules since 1920 or so, it’s cheating. IF someone is caught doing it, you have to punish him.
    I feel that our reaction should be somewhere between “Oh my stars and garters!” and more “Heh, whaddaya know? Someone was obvious enough to get caught”…maybe something like “Someone was obvious enough to get caught…now bust his ass.”

  3. ndnut - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    If this is true, it makes the Strassburg RedHot incident look a bit sketchy doesn’t it?

    • mrwillie - Jun 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      What you have there, sir, is a very good point.

  4. beearl - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    It’s fine for Hayhurst to say that “they all do it” or even say he knows for a fact certain MLB pitchers have done it. But I don’t believe that it’s his place to say that Greg Maddux did it even if he is certain that he did.

    Unless he’s trying to change the game by outing the offenders and tactics. Something it doesn’t seems like he is interested in doing.

  5. fredverd - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    I’m pretty sure I remember seeing HOF pitcher Gaylord Perry instructing the camera, ” Slippery elm, inside…slippery elm, curving away…slippery elm…” He was a master and he knew where it was being sent!

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    In Cole Hamels’ day, you’d spit on the ball, your glove, the ump, and any fan that looked at yer in a funny way. And that’s the way it was and they liked it!

  7. pharmerbrown - Jun 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    what ever happened to bardol and vagisil?

  8. Ick McWang - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Dirk Hayhurst, telling it like it is. Im 3/4 of the way through “Out Of My League” and only read “The Bullpen Gospels” because Craig went on and on about how good it was a couple years ago. Glad I read it, Hayhurst is a phenomenal storyteller.

  9. CJ - Jun 12, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Looks like Greg Maddux can kiss his Hall of Fame chances goodbye.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      Jesse Pinkman, is that you? Lay off the crystal, yo.

      • CJ - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        he’s now being suspected of cheating, with as much or more evidence against him as there is/was against Bagwell. He won’t ever make the hall, nor should he.

        If you STILL can’t tell this is sarcasm, then there’s not much hope for you.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        Either that or the internet is bad at reflecting emotion. Which, it is.

  10. Cris E - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I was at a minor league game last night out in the left field bleachers. We sat and watched a reliever slathering on the sunscreen and then lightly dusting his, um, wrist, with the rosin bag. And it was cloudy. And 9:30 pm. We made some jokes, but hey, maybe it’s exema cream or something so whatever. It makes more sense today… (I’d say what team, but it was the home nine and the guy doesn’t need to deal with the incredible tidal wave of scrutiny that the 30th post on some minor HBT thread might bring.)

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