October 20, 2009
After a surreal day that started with one Angels-centric blog claiming that a video showed the Yankees closer spitting on a baseball and continued with a quick investigation by the commissioner's office that cleared Rivera's name, the man himself showed up at the park to laugh the whole thing off.
"Excuse me, I have to spit," Rivera said before beginning his meeting with reporters.
Here's what Rivera had to say before game 4:
"If we find a different angle (of the video), you will see spit is not on the ball. And if you (find something else), I'll take you to dinner anywhere in the world. If not, then all of you take me to dinner anywhere I want."
"I was on the bus on the way here and my friend called me: 'Stop cheating. Everybody here says you're spitting on the ball, but Major League Baseball cleared it up.' I was laughing. I don't know anything about this."
A whole host of other Yankees and Angels, including managers Joe Girardi and Mike Scioscia (both former catchers), had Rivera's back. Girardi said that a spitter wouldn't move in a consistent direction like Rivera's famous cutter does. Scioscia said he hadn't heard about the controversy but said that he'd be "shocked" if there was anything to it.
As I said in the first post of the day, the whole soap opera was entirely predictable. There was no way every media outlet in the free world wasn't going to pick up the story, even if it was just to issue a simple "there's no way Rivera cheating!" There was no way the reliever wouldn't be asked about it before tonight's game.
But now that the entire cycle has been put to bed and we wait for the next eagle-eyed TV viewer to convince himself that he saw something that no one else did. Can't wait.