Originally Posted by Always Red
Gaylord Perry made himself a Hall of Famer by cheating- giving himself an unfair advantage over hitters, outside the rules of the game. Most fans are OK with it. I'm looking for where that fine line is....
It's a fair question. I think people are not bothered as much with pitchers cheating as they are with batters cheating. I think there are two reasons for that. The first being that for a long time now, batters have had the advantage over pitchers. People didn't come out to watch Babe Ruth catch fly balls. The fans' sense of justice is that throwing the occassional spitball or scuffball sort of balances things out.
The second reason I believe is that when a pitcher throws a spitball or scuffball, it acts the same way as a splitter or forkball or sinker or even a good change up does. It doesn't disappear a foot before it reaches the plate and reappear in the catcher's glove. It doesn't have some magic solvent on it that makes wood bats miss it like in It Happens Every Spring. When a batter cheats, he's trying to do something he wouldn't normally be able to do - hit the ball harder/farther. That's a big reason people were so up in arms about steroids. The hitters were doing something unnatural with their bodies to make them more powerful. When you cork a bat you are doing something unnatural to it to get an advantage. Even if you throw a spitball or a scuffball, there's no guarantee - much like a sinker or splitter - that it's going to break how you want it. It's more human. And throwing a spitball isn't a means to success by itself. Not even relief pitchers are successful throwing only one pitch.