Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins Pitcher Alex Sanabia Caught on Camera with Obvious Spitball

MIAMI, FL - MAY 15: Pitcher Alex Sanabia #28 of the Miami Marlins throws in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on May 15, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Chris StephensCorrespondent IIJanuary 24, 2017

Alex Sanabia has been caught.

The 24-year-old righty for the Miami Marlins was caught spitting on the ball after giving up a home run during Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

You know you suck at cheating when your spit literally BOUNCES off the ball. Alex Sanabia needs a lesson in loogies. twitter.com/JeffPassan/sta…

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 21, 2013

The video gives a spitting image of what he did (sorry, couldn't resist).

Ironically, umpires Sam Holbrook and Joe West didn't catch it.

The Twitter world has taken notice, as well.

Marlins pitcher Alex Sanabia spit on the baseball and then pitched brilliantly. He knows that's cheating, right? sportsgrid.com/wzbuf

SportsGrid (@SportsGrid) May 21, 2013

 

Did @sanabia28 forget there are cameras in the show? #Spitball twitter.com/TotalConoMove/…

— Total Coño Move (@TotalConoMove) May 21, 2013

If Sanabia would have given up more runs during the game, it wouldn't have been such a big deal. But he got 14 of the next 18 batters out, leaving in the seventh having given up only that one run.

While the cameras caught the spit in the second inning, one has to wonder if it was missed at any point the rest of the game, as well. What about the rest of the season?

But while some people are outraged that this happened, Deadspin's Barry Petchesky offers some different insight.

Spitballers load up a ball, and they keep the load on the ball. That little bit of baggage messes with the rotation and causes the ball to move unnaturally. They don't vigorously rub a substance into the cowhide, as Sanabia did. Especially not when it's spit, which almost surely dried out by the time he delivered the next pitch. While Sanabia absolutely violated the letter of the law, it's hard to imagine he was doing anything other than trying to get a better grip.

There's no doubt MLB is going to have to do something about this.

As Petchesky noted in his story, before Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games last year for pine tar on his glove, nobody had been suspended since 2005. And any of the suspensions that happened then were for sandpaper, glue or pine tar. None had to do with actual spit.

So, what's next for MLB and Sanabia? A suspension? A stern talk?

Any way you look at it, MLB will have the final say in this matter. It won't go away until something is done.

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