Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Carpenter's Shiny Balls

I've heard of giving someone blue balls, but I've never heard of giving someone glossy balls. After giving up two home runs in the fourth inning of St. Louis' premiere against Cincinnati, Chris Carpenter had a simple explanation: there was something wrong with his balls. Carpenter pitched 6 innings where he struck out three batters, and gave up five hits, picking up a win for his efforts Monday afternoon, however, he complained that his balls were too clean and slippery, thus making them difficult to handle. Last September, John Smoltz made a similar claim against Cincinnati citing that his balls were too clean and needed to be rubbed down better.
We had this issue last year and again today,” Carpenter said. “There was absolutely no question. I got balls that there was nothing wrong with...Either they make an adjustment or look into it, (or) ultimately, somebody’s going to get hurt,” Carpenter said. “Something’s going to get away, or whatever, and end up getting somebody in the head. I hope that doesn't happen."

According to the rules of baseball, all balls need to be properly massaged before they are used. Getting balls good and dirty makes them easier not only to hold and control, but also to see and hit. The job of rubbing down balls used to fall to umpires, but this unseemly task was passed on to team employees such as the batboy. The umpire's job, however, is to inspect each ball to ensure they meet the standards set by the MLB. If the accusations of Smoltz and Carpenter are true, then the Cincinnati staff is not properly preparing balls, but even more disturbing, umpires are turning a blind eye to the issue. Either way, something needs to be done to ensure that the balls at Cincinnati are properly prepared.

That could work...


The Doodah's - The Ball Song