Indeed they do. Here's what some of O'Neill's opponents had to say about him:
"He's a baby."
"Oh, god. He's never happy. For being such a great player, he whines way too much."
"If he didn't swing at it, it's not a strike."
"The guy hits .380, and he cries all the time."
"Every time he comes up to the plate he's complaining."
Marking the Ball
The Stuff On Scuff
The art of ball scuffing, which seems to enjoy a renaissance every five years or so, is back in the news. On May 1 Tigers righthander Brian Moehler was caught with a small piece of sandpaper stuck to his thumb and was suspended for 10 games. Last week Mariners manager Lou Piniella accused Yankees reliever Jason Grimsley of doctoring balls. Is scuffing once again cutting edge? "Things come up in baseball, and then they're noticed a lot," says A's righthander Tom Candiotti. "I'm sure there are some pitchers who always do it."
Some pitchers use their belt buckle, an emery board or a jagged eyelet on their glove to deface the ball, which enables them to make it move unpredictably. "I've seen a catcher rub the ball on his shin guard," says Candiotti, a 16-year veteran knuckleballer who professes to be a nonscuffer, "but sandpaper on the thumb? It's so deliberate—just blatantly wrong."
Many older players consider the early to mid-1980s to have been the heyday of scuffing. Some pitchers, like Joe Niekro and Gaylord Perry, were caught doing the dastardly deed. Others, like Mike Scott, the former Astros righthander who went from 5-11 with a 4.68 ERA in 1984 to 18-8 and 3.29 the following season, were often accused but never caught. "When a guy has the kind of results [Scott] had with only two pitches," says Mets bench coach Bruce Benedict, a longtime catcher for the Braves, "you become very, very suspicious."