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Cliff Lee rebuts Dirk Hayhurst’s cheating accusation

May 3, 2013, 8:50 PM EDT

Cliff Lee AP

Amidst all the clamor of Clay Buchholz‘s alleged indiscretion, former pitcher and current Toronto radio host Dirk Hayhurst accused Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee of using his hat to gain an unfair advantage:

Now I’m getting lambasted for calling this cheating; cheating when there is solid video evidence to support it.

Pitchers break the law, folks. Some do it in the accepted “it’s only five miles over the limit, officer,” way. Some have big enough names that they can get away with it even when it’s plain for all to see – Cliff Lee’s hat, anyone?

Asked to comment on the accusation, Lee responded, “Who’s Dirk Hayhurst?”

More, via High Cheese:

“That’s nothing,” Lee said of tugging on his hat bill in between pitches.

“That’s a completely inaccurate statement,” Lee said of Hayhurst’s accusation. “I’ll go get you my hat right now. I’ve been wearing the same hat for three years. It’s sweat and rosin.”

Sweat, of course, builds up on hats. Pitchers are permitted to use a rosin bag, of course, since it’s located behind the mound for their usage.

  1. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - May 3, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    This guy is out of line now. If this wasn’t the author of Bullpen Gospels and was Rob Dibble would we even be speaking so respectfully?

  2. revansrevenant - May 3, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Can someone gag this guy? Every time he opens his mouth, stupid flies out.

    • revansrevenant - May 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      To clarify, I mean the Dirk Hayhurst, not Cliff Lee.

  3. paperlions - May 3, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Looks like the commonly repeated Dick Hayhurst “typo” was just a Freudian slip by observant people.

    • sabatimus - May 3, 2013 at 10:30 PM


  4. quintjs - May 3, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    I remember someone saying in the previous post that Dirk was giving his opinion. He isn’t though, he is saying this stuff as a matter of fact.

  5. quintjs - May 3, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    On the plus side – he has managed to unite Red Sox and Phillies fans… which is interesting.

  6. proudlycanadian - May 3, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Crocodile tears from Lee. Of course he would deny that he cheated; however, that pine tar build up could come in very handy.

    • paperlions - May 3, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Rosin isn’t pine tar.

      If he had pine tar on his hat they wouldn’t let him wear it to the mound.

      • proudlycanadian - May 3, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        Rosin he says? Sure!

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        No, no, you are wrong. If one prefers to believe that Lee is guilty, rosin = pine tar.

        You want proof? We don’t need no stinking proof! Cliff Lee had never touched rosin.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        Steve Kline?

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      So let me get this straight – your team is accused of cheating, and your defense is “no former Blue Jay has come forward and turned on his old team”, so there for, innocent.

      Cliff Lee is named dropped as a cheater with zero evidence, and you say he is guilty becuase… prefer to believe he is guilty.

      So……is there a burden of proff on accusers or not? Or does the team one plays for make the difference? I’ve given you some rope. By all mean, continue. Please. Explain in full detail your theory. You have made some thoguthful posts over the year, go ahead and blow it all up if you are so inclined.

      Are burdens of proof team dependant?.

      • proudlycanadian - May 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Is Cliff Lee’s filthy hat a fashion statement? Is he so poor that he can’t afford a nice clean one? Do pitchers who are cheating tell the truth?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 3, 2013 at 11:19 PM

        To answer in order:

        A) Could not tell you
        B) He can afford as many hats as he likes – though I am pretty sure teams buy uniforms in any event
        C) No

        I see you are too afraid to answer my question – are burdens of proof dependant on the team you play for?

      • xavier46 - May 4, 2013 at 1:18 AM

        Proudly has entered bozos territory, trolling with the best of them now.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        I guess so – but this one goes in a special category. In the same day – within a few hours – he says “Don’t make accusations againt the Blue Jays if you have no proof”, then says “Don’t ask for proof if an accusation is made against Cliff Lee”

        We all are Homers to a certain degree, but that is down right deluded

      • paperlions - May 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        Pine tar won’t come off easily….and it is dark, if a pitcher had visible pine tar on his hat (like the visible rosin/sweat build up on Lee’s hat), the ump would make him change it without the other team asking….and if by some chance he didn’t, the other team would immediately ask for the hat to be checked….and if it had pine tar on it the pitcher would immediately be ejected.

        These accusations are dumb….not “Buffalo’s rotation will be better than that of many MLB teams” dumb, but dumb.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 4, 2013 at 5:30 AM

      I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Cliff Lee with the pine tar!

      A piece of advice for Dirk and yourself: until your evidence consists of something more than what’s already in plain sight for all to see you should just keep quiet.

      • proudlycanadian - May 4, 2013 at 7:15 AM

        There is no reason for a rich pitcher to wear a dirty hat. He is so brazen that he thinks he can get away with it because he is a star. Gaylord Perry was a lot more honest than Cliff Lee.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 4, 2013 at 7:31 AM

        Cliff Lee’s hat is proof that the Blue Jays give signals to there hitters.

        Oh, BTW, since peopel have made consiparcy theory accuastions about his hat since 2009, why do you suppose no one has asked an ump to look at it?

        And proudly, if you want to talk about honesty, then honestly answer my question:

        Is there a different burden of proof if the accusation is made against someon who is not a Blue Jay? You are talking about honesty, yet you are afraid to answer that question

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Forgot to commend you for good use of “The Crucible”. And it finally hit me like a ton of bricks what your screen name means….

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Thank you sir. And yeah, I wanted just mrmojorisn but it was long gone.

    • yahmule - May 4, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      That’s not what crocodile tears means, either.

      • paperlions - May 4, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        Maybe it means something different in Canada.

        Clearly, rosin = pine tar in Canada. Not cheating = cheating in Canada, and bad pitching = good pitching in Canada. I’m sure there are other English to Canadian translation issues.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        He doesn’t speak for all of us. He lives in his own little Canada (I think thatt’s called Quebec).

  7. dumbassgreg - May 3, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    remember steriods people. for years everyone said barry bonds was juicing but roger clemens was not. even though the evidence for both was clear . baseball is weird pitchers seem to be able to cheat it is cute like gaylord perry but batter does it end of the world. also remember everyone made fun of canceso. almost everything he said has been proven true. if hayhurst was a star people would take him seriously. instead many say he just a bitter failed ex pitcher trying to hype his next book. also if he said a pitcher for pittsburgh and san diego did it no problem. don’t say anything about the sainted red sox lmao. john farrell probably the most boring vanilla man alive. he is the whitiest man alive. he does seem though to loved in baseball

    • Ralph - May 3, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      Appropriate user name, Greg…

  8. elmo - May 3, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    If this is just Dirk Hayhurst talking smack to up his book sales, boring. If this is Hayhurst violating a code of silence and making baseball people uncomfortable, interesting.

  9. Mark - May 3, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Rogers choices of broadcasters for Sportsnet and Fan 590 have been awful in the past few years. Zaun and now Hayhurst. Too bad I can’t apply for a position, I’d do a much better job AND wouldn’t accuse anybody of cheating without proof!

    • gabrielthursday - May 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      O please, it’s an accusation of throwing a spitball, not treason. You don’t need proof to say what you think is going on. It’s a game – entertainment, not life and death.

      That said, neither should Hayhurst accuse Buchholz or Lee without some kind of basis for the claim. The explanations of Buchholz and Lee seem plausible; but certainly are not proof either.

      • Mark - May 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        When did I say it was treason? All I said was that Hayhurst and Zaun are awful commentators.

      • bigleagues - May 4, 2013 at 6:01 PM


  10. lroc20 - May 3, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    The dude is Canadian. Enough said, if it aint hockey or cfl fuggedaboudit

  11. jaysfan64 - May 4, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Actually, while on radio/ TV Hayhurst does offer insightful, intelligent commentary, elsewhere (Twitter) he’s an arrogant, conceited little turd with a too-high opinion of himself…really, really hope this is his final year broadcasting Jays games cause a lot of the fan base feels the same way…

  12. mungman69 - May 4, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    It’s just a bunch of bullshit. Colin Cowshit said that he could prove things about Cliff Lee. He didn’t even try. Some of these announcers just have big mouths full of empty words.

  13. officialgame - May 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Asked to comment on the accusation, Lee responded, “Who’s Dirk Hayhurst?”
    Love it Cliff, LOL.

  14. joeyb3878 - May 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Not unlike most baseball players, Cliff Lee is very superstitious. He jumps over the foul line and has many other tedious OCD like habits. One of which is wearing the same cap for three years. He is one of many pitchers who do the same as well as so many hitters who do not clean there batting helmets. I think most baseball fans would agree along with the notion that this talking head is just trying to sell his book.

  15. joeyb3878 - May 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM


  16. bigleagues - May 4, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    1) Rosin is NOT WHITE:

    CLEARLY, Verducci missed that video in his layman’s analysis.

    2) This EXCELLENT statistical case that Buchholz is NOT cheating:

    3) A reminder that Hayhurst was a career minor leaguer now working for “Canada’s Team” and probably feeling a tad isolated from the rest of the MLB baseball media fraternity. So this represented a wonderful opportunity for him to get his name out there.

    4) Jack Morris has now revealed himself to be a classless sniveling twit and for it’s worth (not much) I’m withdrawing my support for his HOF candidacy. The psychology of his statements are pretty clear to me… “I didn’t cheat and I’m not in the HOF, Gaylord Perry did cheat and he’s in the HOF”. Clearly Jack chimed in because he saw this as an opportunity to introduce a topic that’s he’s been burning to bring up for discussion.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Not white? I guess AJ Burnett was hiding cocaine in his rosin bag then

      • bigleagues - May 4, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        Touche … except that bag wasn’t “Burnett’s” and it was obviously rigged by someone to burst open … so let’s not assume that is rosin exploding from bag.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 4, 2013 at 7:57 PM

        Techically you are correct – your intial statement was that rosin is not white, and that is correct, it is not. But what is in a rosin bag is a powder made from rosin – and it is white

      • bigleagues - May 4, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        Here is my point, which I should have just stated clearly…

        When pulverized the rosin crystals do take on the appearance of white powder … however, if excess rosin is say, wiped on the arm or part of uniform, and then interacts with enough moisture … its no longer white in appearance. It’s darker than white . . . and not matte in finish as Verdouchey suggested.

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