Sunday, January 20, 2008

Interesting viewpoint by Kaat

Courtesy of Buster Olney's consistently excellent blog, there's an interesting rebuttal by YES broadcaster and 25 year MLB vet Jim Kaat. Certainly worth a read, if you ask me. Below is a snippet:

I cringe when I hear or see a former player speak out about erasing records set during this era. Here is my own example of a 'performance-enhancing method.' Pitching outdoors in Minnesota, a pitcher needed something to help him grip the ball without having it slip out of his hand. Games were played in temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s, and the ball was slick like a frozen snowball. I used pine tar and later a solution my pitching coach, Johnny Sain, concocted by boiling resin and adding a little turpentine and a few other ingredients. It was against the rules. No foreign substance is to be applied to the ball. No punishment was ever noted. Veteran umpire Jim Honochick, known later for his role in the Miller Lite commercials with Boog Powell, approached me on the mound from his position at second base one day and said, 'Lefty, you're putting a foreign substance on the ball. That's illegal.' I quickly replied, 'Jim, that's not a foreign substance. It's made in North Carolina.' He chuckled and went back to his position.

Quaint or cheating? Tacit approval or fear by the umps? Good old days or same old, same old? Beneficiaries of a lack of high-def multi-angle camera work and instant replay? If you aren't cheating then you aren't trying? You tell me...

Have a good Sunday. Let's go Giants!!!


Rick N said...

J-Loved Kaat's comments. Brought me back to the good old days of Gaylord Perry (you said gay..) with his spit ball, sand paper and vasoline tricks..

Jason said...

yep, Rick. He and Whitey Ford. Two of MANY who think what they did was "gamesmanship" and not really cheating.

Don Evans said...

hah good stuff Jason,

Kaat is totally on point .... players have always done what ever they could to get an advantage. Doesn't make it right, but lets not crucify the modern day player either.