Peavy becomes the latest pitcher caught with “dirt” on his hand

And I had nothing to do with it. Like Kenny Rogers, there was something that looked a lot like pine tar on his hand, and he claimed it was rosin and dirt.

“Peavy laughs off dirty-hand controversy” runs the headline, which obviously endorses one side of the controversy.

Here’s a great bit from the LA Times, though:

Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt was handed a picture of Jake Peavy, the image showing a dark substance on the thumb, forefinger and middle finger of the San Diego Padres ace’s extended right hand.

“Pine tar,” Honeycutt said. “Rosin’s not that dark.”

Rick Honeycutt, of course, was once caught scuffing balls up with a tack hidden in his glove while pitching in a game.

Another interesting angle here is that the story – much like the K-Rod story – blew up, generally without anyone citing the online source for the story.

From that story:

Photos of a dark substance on Peavy’s hand circulated after he tossed a two-hitter in the Padres’ 4-1 victory over the Dodgers on Saturday at PETCO Park, a complete-game victory with eight strikeouts.

The images were reportedly still shots taken from the televised broadcast of the game.

When I ran the K-Rod stuff, ESPN built a segment on it including using the game footage timestamps I posted to do video freeze-frames they could highlight and show off their technical wizardry, but they never mentioned me (or the book) at all.

The best I saw any mainstream outlet say was that it started on “a Dodger message board” with no elaboration.

So while this kind of event, with fans armed with increasingly better tools and supplied with better-quality footage to use them on, is going to become only more common, that aspect of the story goes entirely uncovered.

They – and here I include MLB and ESPN along with other outlets – don’t know what to do with this kind of thing. They want to cover the controversy without creating a monster they can’t control. In the political world, sites like the Drudge Report control much of the news coverage, and that’s power other outlets often wish they hadn’t ceded. MLB doesn’t want every fan deputized, and ESPN doesn’t want sports news democratized, so — you see where that’s going.

Again, from the LA Times:

A Major League Baseball spokesman said that the commissioner’s office was aware of the existence of the photographs, but didn’t know whether it would launch an investigation. Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president of on-field operations, was forwarded the pictures via e-mail by The Times and was asked whether he would look into the matter, but never responded.

Lemme take a stab at this: they will do nothing.

Manny Corpas cheating in the playoffs!

The Philadelphia Daily News:

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.