Dennis Eckersley's hair and Jack Morris's mustache each have something to say about right-hander Clay Buchholz of the Boston Red Sox allegedly doctoring the baseball. Will it be long until Brian Wilson's beard chimes in?
Morris inserted himself into the Buchholz controversy of "Is he or isn't he?" on Thursday by adding his two cents on allegations made a day earlier by Dirk Hayhurst. Both broadcasters, who work for the Toronto Blue Jays on Sportsnet, also are former major league pitchers who say Buchholz was loading up the baseball illegally with a foreign substance during his previous start Wednesday at Toronto.
Buchholz, who has struggled with injuries and mediocrity the past two seasons, happens to lead the majors in ERA this go 'round. To some, like Morris, his success looks suspicious.
Morris said he didn't notice it during Wednesday's telecast.
"I found out because the guys on the video camera showed it to me right after the game," he said. "I didn't see it during the game. They showed it to me and said, 'What do you think of this?' and I said, 'Well, he's throwing a spitter. Cause that's what it is."
The Red Sox and Buchholz continued to deny it, but their responses were tame when compared with that of NESN broadcaster Dennis Eckersley, who ripped Morris for — among other things — not being in the Hall of Fame.
Via Full Count on WEEI:
“Where’s Jack Morris been all these years, anyway?” Eckersley continued. “He finally gets a job up there in Toronto and he has to make statements like that and take away from what this kid [Buchholz] has done? I think it’s wrong. He’s pitched long enough to know. Guys, you talk about stick-’em, whatever that is, pine tar. He knows that you go to something if you’re sweaty just to get a grip. It’s all about a grip. You saw the comment — that guy [Hayhurst] backed off a little bit, saying maybe it’s rosin, maybe it’s this, but if you just watch the game, you know: the ball disappears on you.
“When you throw a spitball, the ball falls off the table, and you know it right away. The hitters didn’t complain, but Jack Morris is. I think Jack Morris should zip it,” Eckersley added. “I feel sorry for Buchholz to even have to deal with this. I’m styling here, and you’re taking away from me, a guy that can’t even make it to the Hall of Fame yet, and he’s chirping over there — zip it.”
Good rant. The Toronto announcers doubled down (or is it "quadrupled down"?) on Boston pitcher Junichi Tazawa on Thursday, saying he might have been doing what Buchholz. Morris punctuated his take this time with a "Who knows?" So ... who knows?
But is Buchholz cheating? We need a lot more information than we have in order to prove it. Eckersley doesn't really help the discussion move forward with his diss at Morris for not being in the Hall (when Eckersley is). However, until then, it's kind of fun to have these retired ballplayers arguing. It's like we're all at a barber shop, listening old men make up stuff.