Blue Jays analyst Dirk Hayhurst: ‘Clay Buchholz still cheated’
|05.03.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
Dirk Hayhurst, a former major league pitcher who is a multimedia personality in Toronto, continued Friday to accuse Clay Buchholz of doctoring baseballs while firing back at NESN Red Sox analyst Dennis Eckersley and Boston fans. Hayhurst made the initial accusation after Buchholz shut down the Jays on Wednesday to improve to 6-0 this season. Jays TV analyst Jack Morris joined in after listening to Hayhurst’s accusation.
During a Friday appearance on Toronto radio station Sportsnet 590 The Fan, Hayhurst insisted, “I’m not wrong” about Buchholz putting a substance on the ball, although he offered no evidence that the substance was anything other than rosin from the bag that sits behind the mound for pitchers to dry their hands and get a better grip — which is what Buchholz has said it was.
“Look, I saw Clay Buchholz going to his forearm, where there was not skin-colored something there, taking two fingers, wiping it across, massaging said cream or Stickum or slickum or whatever the popular buzzword of today is, and then using it to grip the baseball,” Hayhurst said. “That’s illegal. You can’t do that.”
Added Hayhurst: “All of these things are technical rule violations. Is he cheating? Yeah. Is most of baseball cheating? Yes. Is my observation unfounded? No.”
Hayhurst said his attack on Buchholz was not sour grapes, as some have implied.
“The irony of this is that the lowest common denominators of the world out there will immediately latch on to the record and say all of your criticisms are discounted by the fact that your team sucks,” Hayhurst said, adding: “Fact: [The Jays] suck. And Clay Buchholz still cheated.”
Hayhurst, who pitched in a total of 25 games for the Padres in 2008 and Blue Jays in 2009, spent most of his professional playing career in the minors, something Eckersley brought up when discounting the accusation. Hayhurst said that should play no factor in this case.
“I’ve got two eyes and a lot of experience around the game,” Hayhurst said. “I don’t have championships. But if you’re going to measure a person’s ability to tell the truth about the game of baseball by championships, then Jack Morris should really be telling Dennis Eckersley to zip it. … So, all I want to say is if you don’t know what I saw, please don’t just say because you didn’t play long enough anything you did saw is suddenly — this is only the court of baseball. I love the court of baseball, where there’s so much posturing.”
Added Hayhurst: “Dennis Eckersley, I hope you’re listening. I’m not taking anything away from Clay Buchholz. I’m giving him credit. Because it takes a lot of skill to cheat. It does. But you know what? If you’re going to do it blatantly, someone’s going to see you doing it. It’s not going to cost you against the Blue Jays, who are just God-awful right now. And I’m not calling out Clay Buchholz because I’m bitter and I’m angry that my beloved Jays are losing. I don’t care. It’s my job as an analyst to be impartial. I see him doing it, I’m going to mention it, that’s my job.
“It’s not going to cost Clay Buchholz anything. Or Junichi Tazawa, who also has a little mystery rub here and there. It’s not going to cost them anything against the Jays. You know where it’s going to cost them? … If you’re a smart manager, you’re waiting for that moment when it’s going to blow a game, a pivotal game in a tight series. You’re waiting for the opportunity where it can benefit you the most.”
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