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Thread: Arroyo Pine Tar?

  1. #1
    Member New Fever's Avatar
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    Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Wow Dave Duncan is crazy!!!


    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/spo...C?OpenDocument





    BY RICK HUMMEL
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/01/2009

    CINCINNATI — Veteran righthander John Smoltz, who had walked only three hitters unintentionally in his first 34 innings as a Cardinal since coming from Boston, walked more batters (five) in the second and third innings Wednesday night than he had walked in a game since 1995.

    Smoltz said he wasn't able to get a grip on most of the baseballs he tried to throw — and he exchanged baseballs regularly with home-plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth. After the Cardinals' 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, he gave credit to Reds righthander Bronson Arroyo for handling the situation much better.

    Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, who raised the issue of what he termed unrubbed baseballs with Culbreth and crew chief Gary Cederstrom on the field, wasn't so generous in assessing Arroyo's success with the same baseballs Smoltz was using.

    Duncan, who said the umpires told him the baseballs indeed were rubbed up, said Arroyo was able to deal with the issue because "I'm sure he had pine tar on his cap. He didn't have any problem getting a grip. Balls like that can generate a lot more movement than a slick ball that hasn't been rubbed up."

    Asked if he had seen Arroyo go to his cap, Duncan said, "Just every pitch."

    Then Duncan said, "That's not the point. The point is that a pitcher should never be able to have control over how a ball is rubbed up, whether it's more or less. And since the umpires don't rub the balls up and their clubhouse guys do, I'm sure he had some control over it."

    Duncan said he didn't and wouldn't ask the umpires to investigate Arroyo's head gear. "It's gamesmanship," Duncan said.

    Cardinals manager Tony La Russa obliquely said, "There's a way to improve your grip. The balls weren't slick for (Arroyo). There's probably a reason why they weren't slick for him. Different fingertips or something. I don't know."

    But Duncan noted, "I've been around for 40-plus years now and I've never seen a major-league baseball game played with balls like that."

    The 42-year-old Smoltz, who has been around almost as long as Duncan, said, "These are the worst baseballs I've pitched with in my life. The other guy pitched with them, too, and he did a nice job. But I've walked three guys all year and I walked five today. I felt helpless."

    In his bizarre two-inning stretch, four of the five batters Smoltz faced scored and the other forced in a run as the Cardinals continued sliding, this time before 11,930 fans.

    Smoltz found himself asking for a new ball virtually every couple of pitches. He didn't have to ask for a new one, though, after Laynce Nix had delivered the most telling hit of the game, a third-inning grand slam off an 0-2 pitch.

    "I just had no feel for the baseballs," Smoltz said. "That's the worst thing you can have as a pitcher.

    "They were brand-new. The balls were not rubbed up. They were all white."

    Historically, umpires have rubbed up balls before the game with what is called Delaware mud, but that job has fallen to clubhouse attendants at all the parks.

    "I normally don't get that frustrated but that was a frustrating experience," Smoltz said. "I'm not a guy who walks five guys. I warmed up with really good baseballs. Ours.

    "But no excuses. I definitely struggled. I was angry. I explained to the umpire I was frustrated and he said he knew what the situation was and there was nothing he could do. I've pitched a long time and not to find one or two or three baseballs that are remotely close ...

    "I threw too many balls that just rolled up there. The other guy today (Arroyo) did extremely well with it. He shut us down. He's a guy who flips frisbees and sailers ... it could be what he likes. (Arroyo) dealt — with the same kind of baseballs."

    When it was suggested that Arroyo, 8-7 at home and 7-6 on the road, had used that type of baseball before here, Smoltz said, "One would think."

    Smoltz seemed upset that Reds rookie Drew Stubbs stole a base with the Reds six runs ahead in the third, as Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker held up three fingers, probably signifying the game was only in the third inning.

    "I was frustrated. I'm not going to comment (on the matter)," Smoltz said.

    Cardinals backup catcher Jason LaRue, handling Smoltz for the first time, didn't lay the whole blame on the baseballs. LaRue said, "Both sides are pitching with the same balls. You've still got to go out and make your pitches and do your job. But the question is: Were the balls rubbed up? No, they weren't rubbed up."

    The Cardinals managed just five hits and scored three or fewer runs for the fifth time in six games and 10th time in their last 13.

    La Russa said, "There's more (than one run) that I think our talent should produce."

    Not surprisingly with this lack of offense, the Cardinals have lost five of their past six and 11 of their past 17 games, and their chances for having home-field advantage for the playoffs are evaporating quickly.

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  3. #2
    We are the angry mob cincyinco's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Lol, if you're going to say he was using pine tar, why didn't you call him out on it during the game?

    Oh that's right, in the name of gamesmanship.

    Lame.
    "I hate to advocate chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone... But they've always worked for me."

    -Hunter S. Thompson

  4. #3
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    I was just coming to post this story from the St. Louis paper. What a bunch of crybabies. And Jason LaRue was the only one man enough to say both sides played with the same situation.
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    Bread Gloves Razor Shines's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    I was just coming to post this story from the St. Louis paper. What a bunch of crybabies. And Jason LaRue was the only one man enough to say both sides played with the same situation.
    You mean except for Smolts.

  6. #5
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Shines View Post
    You mean except for Smolts.
    Yes, I re-read that after making that comment and saw that Smoltz essentially said the same thing. But Duncan, now he's a crybaby in this case.
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Quote Originally Posted by New Fever View Post

    Smoltz seemed upset that Reds rookie Drew Stubbs stole a base with the Reds six runs ahead in the third, as Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker held up three fingers, probably signifying the game was only in the third inning.

    "I was frustrated. I'm not going to comment (on the matter)," Smoltz said.
    What is this now? Little League? We have a 6 run lead so we pull off the horses and do station to station base running?

    With an offense like the Cardinals and the Reds struggles this year, I certainly don't feel like a 6 run lead in the 3rd inning is safe.

    The Cardinals are really showing their true colors here.

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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    I thought the umpires were the ones required to rub each baseball before the game, not clubhouse guys.

  9. #8
    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Lord I hate the Cardinals.

    Bush. league.

  10. #9
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Memo to John Smoltz: It's not the baseballs. You are just over the hill. Please retire as soon as possible.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  11. #10
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    I'm sure a Reds beat reporter will make it possible for us to hear from Arroyo and the Reds "clubhouse guy" who's in charge of rubbing up the baseballs in a day or two. That should be interesting.

  12. #11
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caseyfan21 View Post
    What is this now? Little League? We have a 6 run lead so we pull off the horses and do station to station base running?

    With an offense like the Cardinals and the Reds struggles this year, I certainly don't feel like a 6 run lead in the 3rd inning is safe.

    The Cardinals are really showing their true colors here.
    I watched the video highlights and they show the interchange between Baker and Smoltz. Smoltz seemed to nod his head after Dusty held up three fingers, indicating it was just the 3rd inning. I agree with you, in spite of our recent good play, six runs isn't a "safe" lead given the team we were playing and some of the struggles we've had during the season. I think John Smoltz was just frustrated with a lousy outing.
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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds View Post
    Memo to John Smoltz: It's not the baseballs. You are just over the hill. Please retire as soon as possible.
    Probably arthritis.

  14. #13
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Up 6 runs in the 3rd you can't steal a base? Really?
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  15. #14
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    I don't get the knee jerk "Smoltz is a washed up wuss" (especially since he isn't) and "Duncan is crybaby" reaction.

    The cardinals have clinched-I doubt they were all that invested in the outcome.

    To have Duncan and Smoltz talk about the grip is interesting.
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo Pine Tar?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I don't get the knee jerk "Smoltz is a washed up wuss" (especially since he isn't) and "Duncan is crybaby" reaction.

    The cardinals have clinched-I doubt they were all that invested in the outcome.

    To have Duncan and Smoltz talk about the grip is interesting.
    I don't buy the Smoltz is washed up either, but I think Duncan's contention that Arroyo was dirtying up the balls himself was ludicrous, hence my "crybaby" comment. The whole question of whether the balls had been coated and how that may effect a the pitching is interesting. What I find curious is that the K's that were shown on the Reds highlights all looked like fairly "straight" pitches, well placed. None of them looked to be curves or trick pitches. Would balls with pine tar on them show some movement signs like that? I did see one clip that showed Arroyo touches his cap, but the next pitch showed him moving to the back of the mound and rubbing dirt on the ball (a not uncommon practice).

    I'm not sure why Duncan would get his shorts in a bunch over this. We played better and they were flat. Might it have been the balls not properly coated and rubbed up? Sure, but both teams played with the random ball put into play by the umpire.
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