Posted: Monday October 23, 2006 4:32PM; Updated: Tuesday October 24, 2006 11:09AM
David Wells, with Boston in 2005, works over a baseball.
Al Bello/Getty Images
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"But the predominant reason to use the pine tar is for the grip and to apply the necessary pressure to throw your pitches. The ball was coming out of his hand pretty good. It's good for the splitter, the cutter, the slider and the curveball.
"Rogers isn't a very hard thrower. He depends on movement. It can even help with the changeup. The hard thing about throwing a splitter is controlling it. If you apply pine tar to the middle finger and index finger, it allows you to grip it better and gain more control. But pine tar is very visible. That's why you have to be careful. A lot of times you have to wipe it off between innings with alcohol. It comes right off with alcohol.
"He definitely was using pine tar. It can cake with pine tar and rosin. Maybe after the second inning, he went back to the shaving cream and added moisture. I'd say he was either hiding it better or he went back to the shaving cream or suntan lotion.
"Some guys use a combination of all three -- pine tar, shaving cream and suntan lotion -- or you could use one or two. They use the sports suntan lotion so they don't accidentally irritate their eyes.
"I bet Tony La Russa's pitchers are mad at him for saying anything, because a lot of guys do it, and I'd be surprise if there's a whole staff of guys who don't do it. In fact, I'd say a majority of guys use one of the three -- shaving cream, suntan lotion or pine tar. They can't like him ratting out the other team when everyone does it. Maybe he had to say something because it's the World Series, it's on TV and he probably has to answer to his owner.
"But you'll notice he didn't continue to talk about it, and he instructed his guys not to talk about it. They probably have no interest in catching Rogers because if they do then the umpire is looking at everyone.''
Baseball vs. the National Free-pass League
The not-so-great thing for Major League Baseball is that thousands of words will be written and said about whether Rogers used a foreign substance or not, but the NFL continues to get a free pass on a much more serious form of cheating: steroids.
One of the NFL's top defensive players, Shawne Merriman, has failed a test for steroids, according to ESPN.com, and will be suspended for four games. And all it inspires is a yawn. As long as football fans have their fantasy team, their couch, their Sunday food spread and their office pool (or more serious gambling), they couldn't care less about steroids.
Imagine the outrage that would accompany a baseball star failing a steroid test now.
Could Donnie Baseball be in line?
More and more, I'm hearing that Joe Torre's $7 million guaranteed contract for 2007 played a role in the Yankees' decision to keep him. That doesn't bode well for his chances to stay beyond next season.
Yankees people are telling each other they lost money and they will try to lower the payroll for a second straight year. It is about $195 million now.
Meanwhile, Don Mattingly, who is beloved by fans and appears to be equally beloved by his Yankees bosses, looks from here like the Torre's most likely successor, followed by Joe Girardi (though Girardi's rep unfairly took a hit when his Florida bosses painted him as unreasonably bossy). Yankees people were also very impressed by Larry Bowa and Tony Pena, and don't count out Bobby Valentine, who is admired by both George Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman. Steinbrenner may see Valentine as a Billy Martin-type in the clubhouse who behaves impeccably off the field.
Craig Monroe, who has two homers in two games and five in the postseason, had this to say regarding scouting reports: "I couldn't care less.'' ... I still don't get it. Why isn't Carlos Guillen batting third? And why isn't he playing shortstop?