The MLB finally had a chance to do the right thing in regards to a player that was caught cheating, but instead just as usual MLB turned its back on its fans! It's getting very old; this is the same MLB that allowed for steroids to become rampant.
Who was MLB protecting this time? The answer is Mariano Rivera. On camera there's a clip that shows Rivera clearly spitting on a baseball. Here's the clip if you want to see for yourself what Rivera did.
MLB has already made a ruling that Rivera did not spit on the baseball so no punishment will be handed down to Rivera. This is very interesting to me because I believe that if it had been any other pitcher in baseball, that's not a big name they clearly would have been suspended.
Secondly, it's not the MLB's job to defend the player. Their job is to hand out the punishment and let Rivera appeal the penalty and have it fully researched rather than have it swept under the rug like nothing happened.
Rivera is enabling a cheat by not doing anything. MLB rules state that "the pitcher shall be immediately ejected and shall be suspended automatically. The automatic suspension shall be for 10 games."
That's right, immediately after MLB saw the video Rivera should have been suspended 10 games, but they didn't do that, did they? Nope! Instead, MLB went out of its way to prove that Rivera did not spit on the ball.
According to the article on NESN.com titled "MLB Rules Mariano Rivera did not Spit on Ball in Game 3 of ALCS" an MLB spokesman was quoted as saying "From the available video and still pictures that we have, there's no evidence that Rivera spit on the ball."
What's funny is that the article states clearly that it was unclear where the spit had actually landed. It could have been on the mound or it could have been on the baseball itself.
Just by watching the video and the picture I've used, you can pretty much determine the trajectory of the spit. It's right at that baseball; in my mind, there's no way you can make the conclusion that the spit didn't hit that baseball.
I think it comes back to the fact that baseball is unwilling to make a stand on something. MLB wants to think the best of its players, which is good up to a certain point.
What's interesting about the arguments of why Rivera wouldn't spit on a baseball by Yankee fans? The first one that comes up is that Rivera has been in the Major Leagues 15 years.
Interesting that what's not mentioned is the fact that Roger Clemens was in the league for 15 years before the allegations he took steroids. Barry Bonds was in his 15th season when the steroid cloud came over him! Sammy Sosa was in his 10th year before the steroid allegations! Rafael Palmeiro was in his 15th year as well.
So, saying that Rivera was in his 15th year doesn't cut it as a good reason why he wouldn't have cheated in this particular circumstance where video evidence shows him spitting extremely close to the baseball.
Is it a stretch to believe that just because a player has been in the league a long time he won't cheat? Well, I just gave you examples of players who had been around at least for the same amount of Rivera and cheated.
This was a chance for MLB to prove that it doesn't protect its superstars when allegations arise. Instead, MLB struck out again and I can guarantee that more baseball fans were caught up on the fact that Rivera could possibly have cheated than what actually happened in ALCS Game Four.