Slowly, I have become more and more obsessed with baseball, so I apologize in advance if you care not:
Here is my take on Dirtgate, the incident in which some kind of nasty substance (dirt? rosin? pine tar?) was spotted by Fox's cameras on the hand of Tiger's pitcher Kenny Rogers. From a pragmatic point of view, there is no issue. The Cardinals never requested (as far as we can tell) the umpires to examine Rogers' hands, and since Kenny washed off whatever it was, there is nothing that could be done after that point.
However, what I do not agree with is those (like tonight's pregame commentator on Fox) who claim that using foreign substance like pine tar is just a minor issue; a technical bending of the rules, but something to be expected and dealt with lightly. There is a reason that the spitball was banned from baseball. Any discoloration of the ball can be extremely dangerous for the batter. So much so, that in 1920, a batter for the Cleveland Indians was killed by a discolored ball. Killed. As in dead.
Admittedly, during that time, the balls were used for much longer over the course of the game and therefore got much dirtier as a matter of course. Regardless, for a sport where history seems to be more important than anything, we shouldn't forget the past. If players are caught using foreign substances on the ball, they should be punished.
Okay... after all that...
How amazing was Kenny Rogers Sunday night? I hope I am that awesome when I am 41.
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