TBS cameras on Corpas warming up before coming into yesterday’s 4-2 Colorado win in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park clearly showed the righthander pour a cup of water or soda on the front of his shirt before leaving the bullpen and then rubbing dirt on the area.
Then, when he went into the game, he appeared to go to that spot before several of his pitches in order to get a better grip on the baseball. Since the Rockies’ road jerseys are black, any discoloration on the shirt would have been difficult to detect.
The article notes that it’s illegal for pitchers to apply anything to the baseball. The problem here, as we’ve seen with K-Rod and Joe Nathan and many other pitchers, is that the rule’s entirely unenforced. You can go out there with pine tar smeared all over your cap and rub your fingers in it before a pitch and not get called.
Here’s a totally awesome video of what went on, at least until MLB takes it down:
Will baseball, having failed to do anything about similar incidents all year – including cases where there was clear video evidence – take any action here? As much as the playoffs are higher profile, it still seems unlikely.