About Jon Lester and foreign substances

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

While the Cardinals were sloshing through an ugly defensive performance in Game 1 of the World Series, a Cardinals Minor Leaguer apparently had his eye on Jon Lester. And Tyler Melling’s tweet from late Wednesday night – one that suggested Lester was benefiting from a sticky substance hidden in his glove – has since fueled a storm of speculation.

The tweet – which read: “Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?” – also included a photo of the Red Sox starter with what appears to be a green glob inside his black glove. Since then, a video of Lester touching that area of his glove before gripping the ball has also surfaced on social media.

According to rule 8.02.4 in the Major League Baseball official rule book, “the pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.” A violation warrants an immediate ejection.

In this case, however, neither the Cardinals, nor anyone on the umpiring crew, challenged Lester’s actions at the time. Lester shut the Cardinals out on five hits in 7 2/3 innings, while walking one and striking out eight.

Pat Courtney, a spokesperson for MLB, released this statement on Thursday: “We cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game. “

Said general manager John Mozeliak when reached for comment: “We were unaware of this and feel it is a
non-issue.”

This is not the first foreign substance issue to take headlines during a Cardinals World Series appearance. In the 2006 Fall Classic matchup against the Cardinals and Tigers, Detroit starting pitcher Kenny Rogers was determined to have a brown substance on the palm of his pitching hand. Rogers, who claimed it was dirt and rosin, washed it off after the first inning. Then-manager Tony La Russa never pushed the umpires to take a closer look at the substance.

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8 Comments

How can the league reverse a blown call in game like that yet not do anything about apparent use of foreign substance by Boston starter as document in video and photos online?

From a lifelong devoted Cardinals fan who has been watching the Cards for over 40 years… Since nothing was during the game, the umpires are perfectly right in saying that the line has already been drawn. I am certain that if the issue had been raised during the game, it would have been addressed appropriately. More to the point, any alleged substance in Lester’s glove had absolutely nothing to do with the Cardinals horribly lackadaisical fielding. Move on already, and prepare for Game 2. Any complaints about Game 1 at this point just reeks of sour grapes.

Pat Courtney, a spokesperson for MLB, released this statement on Thursday: “We cannot draw any conclusions from this video.
This is a completely different attitude from MLB than when they overturned the call at 2nd base in the first game. There they said: ” we just want to get the call right.” When MLB first saw these compelling and convincing pictures and videos they should have compounded Lester’s glove and tested it for vaseline. Now they are putting their head in the sand and the Cards will feel like they have to have a watchman as they need to be concerned about being cheated.

Yeah

Sent from my iPhone

Look,it didn’t matter what was in the glove,we were unprepared to play.
The umpires got the right call. Stop trying to link it to the glove substance.
The Cardinals will win in spite of the cheating little turd Lester.Next time it will be the topic of discussion and that low I.Q.jerk-weed won’t be able to handle it and the Cards will beat him like a drum.
Never expect MLB,under Selig to do anything.He hates the Cardinals,but we win anyway.

Almost forgot………..We need a shortstop!

Noticed in 2nd game, same color of substance in glove was also same color of pine tar on Ortiz bat.

We have a shortstop. One who scattered 9 errors over 139 games during the regular season. One who turned in a better fielding percentage than Jimmy Rollins.

No one is probably more dumbfounded by his performance in Game 1 than Pete is. His 2-error performance is as much an anomaly as Wainwright calling for a pop-up and then watching it drop 1 foot in front of him, or Jay’s loss of consciousness in center during the playoffs in center.

Why we looked, as a team, like we did in Game 1, is beyond me, It appears we’ve gotten beyond it, and that is the mark of a good club.

I’m still trying to find out why Molina didn’t take his characteristic walks to the mound during the game to talk to his pitcher, especially with a 3-2 count on Ortiz with the DH taking the next pitch deep over the Green Monster.

Every time Wacha looked like he was starting to have a little difficulty locating his pitches, Molina remained behind the plate, instead of doing what I’ve watched him do all season long…take a trip to the mound to calm down whichever 22 year-old pitcher is on it at the time for the Cardinals, to help him calm down and focus.

That was just plain weird to me, far harder to comprehend than Kozma’s lapses of reason in Game 1. Hell, he could have just told Michael to throw yet another pitch in the dirt to Papi with the count at 3-2, and at that point have two on with one out but at least the score would still have been 1-0 instead of turning into 1-2 on the next swing of Ortiz’s bat as Wacha missed over the plate in Mr. Ortiz’s wheelhouse.

Happy as heck about the win, but still rather perplexed about Yadier’s uncharacteristic behavior with Wacha on the mound last night. Is there something I don’t know? Is there some friction between those guys I missed reading about somewhere? Am I just not aware that at some point Wacha informed Matheny he would prefer if Yadier doesn’t walk to the mound and talk to him during a game?

I’m confused.

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