Jose Valverde Uses A Spitball

By Bryan Lutz

Detroit Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde is probably one of the most polarizing players in Major League Baseball. Between his antics after a save and taking about a minute to throw a pitch, it’s safe to say a lot of fans hate Papa Grande. I know I do. But after the Tigers’ win against the Cincinnati Reds on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, we have more reasons to hate Jose Valverde.

As you can see from this video:

Jose Valverde is obvious about throwing a spitball. What does a spitball do exactly? I’m not quite sure because the highest level of pitching I had was being a 12-year old stud. But it is supposed to improve a pitcher’s movement, like a pseudo-knuckleball. The most notable spit-baller, Gaylord Perry, is in the Hall-of-Fame. While former Houston Astros’ ace, Mike Scott, was accused of throwing a spitball during the 1986 NLCS against the New York Mets. Here is the rule in the baseball rulebook about applying a substance to the balls.

8.02 The pitcher shall not- (a) (1) Bring his pitching hand in contact with his mouth or lips while in the 18 foot circle surrounding the pitching rubber. EXCEPTION: Provided it is agreed to by both managers, the umpire prior to the start of a game played in cold weather, may permit the pitcher to blow on his hand. PENALTY: For violation of this part of this rule the umpires shall immediately call a ball. However, if the pitch is made and a batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a hit batsman or otherwise, and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation. Repeated offenders shall be subject to a fine by the league president. (2) Apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball; (3) expectorate on the ball, either hand or his glove; (4) rub the ball on his glove, person or clothing; (5) deface the ball in any manner; (6) deliver what is called the “shine” ball, “spit” ball, “mud” ball or “emery” ball. The pitcher, of course, is allowed to rub the ball between his bare hands. PENALTY: For violation of any part of this rule 8.02 (a) (2 to 6) the umpire shall: (a) Call the pitch a ball, warn the pitcher and have announced on the public address system the reason for the action. (b) In the case of a second offense by the same pitcher in the same game, the pitcher shall be disqualified from the game. (c) If a play follows the violation called by the umpire, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects to accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise, and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation. (d) Even though the offense elects to take the play, the violation shall be recognized and the penalties in (a) and (b) will still be in effect. (e) The umpire shall be sole judge on whether any portion of this rule has been violated. All umpires shall carry with them one official rosin bag. The umpire in chief is responsible for placing the rosin bag on the ground back of the pitcher’s plate. If at any time the ball hits the rosin bag it is in play. In the case of rain or wet field, the umpire may instruct the pitcher to carry the rosin bag in his hip pocket. A pitcher may use the rosin bag for the purpose of applying rosin to his bare hand or hands. Neither the pitcher nor any other player shall dust the ball with the rosin bag; neither shall the pitcher nor any other player be permitted to apply rosin from the bag to his glove or dust any part of his uniform with the rosin bag. (b) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. (c) Intentionally delay the game by throwing the ball to players other than the catcher, when the batter is in position, except in an attempt to retire a runner.

So if you have any questions about the rules, there you go. Needless to say, hopefully Jose Valverde gets caught because he’s cheater, pumpkin-eater.

Bryan is a featured writer for Rant Sports. Although he concentrates mostly on the game of baseball, you can find him covering things all over the Rant Sports Network. 

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