On Mariano Rivera's Spit Ball

Sixty Feet, Six Inches Correspondent IOctober 21, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees smiles during batting practice before Game Four of the ALCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on October 20, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

So, there's this video making the rounds on the internet that appears to show Mariano Rivera preparing a spitball in Game Three of the ALCS. Since spitballs are illegal, this has become all the rage lately.

For those you living in a cave, here's the video:



Now, a few things must be addressed here.

First, was that a spitball? It certainly appears that way.

Second, did the spit actually land on the ball? It looks like it to me, but there are some people out there with DVRs and HDTVs that zoomed in and say no.

Third, if this is a spitball, does it invalidate everything Mariano Rivera has ever accomplished?

I say no, for one reason. I find it incredibly doubtful that Rivera would be so ignorant of MLB rules. I mean, if that's a spitball, he didn't even try to hide it. He just blatantly spat on the ball. Not even a lick of the fingers or anything. There's no way he does that before every pitch.

For MLB's part, they say they've reviewed the film and that there's no evidence Rivera actually spit on the ball. Therefore, no disciplinary action has been taken.

Regardless, there's now a contingent of fans—right or wrong—that are going to see Rivera as a tainted player, similar to all the players who have used steroids.

Do you still think any starter in MLB is beyond suspicion of cheating?


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