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Clay Buchholz: Sunscreen, rosin controversies ‘doing me an injustice’

05.08.13 at 8:51 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz

Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz can’t understand the continued controversies directed his way, especially considering none of them have emanated from either his team or its opponents.

“I’ve gotten texts from a bunch of guys saying, ‘Man, it’s been fun watching you pitch this year. Don’t worry about what anybody says,’ ” he told WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox’ game against the Twins on Wednesday night.

First came the comments from Toronto television analyst Jack Morris and radio host Dirk Hayhurst regarding the accusation that Buchholz was doctoring baseballs during the starter’s May 1 start against the Blue Jays. It was later revealed that the action in question was Buchholz putting rosin on his left forearm (instead of using the actual rosin bag) in order to get a better grip on the baseball.

Now, Buchholz has been identified in a Yahoo! Sports column Wednesday as a potential example of a pitcher using a mix of BullFrog sunscreen and rosin to enhance his grip.

“I’ve used it in the past, but that wasn’t on my arm at any time this season,” Buchholz said of the sunblock product. “Day games, you put sunscreen on. That’s what you do, you put sunscreen on.”

The article states that while Buchholz had declined comment to Yahoo! Sports through a team spokesman, a source close to the Red Sox confirmed in the story that almost all of the team’s pitchers rely on the sunscreen mix.

Buchholz, who hadn’t seen the column until late Wednesday afternoon, seemed genuinely perplexed by the ongoing conversation.

He explained that even after the start against the Blue Jays, his routine of using the rosin on his left arm didn’t change. Buchholz also said that he has not been contacted directly by either Morris or Hayhurst.

The righty turned in a solid performance Monday, striking out nine while allowing four runs over six innings. Buchholz began Wednesday with the fourth-best ERA in the majors (1.60), while having tied Felix Hernandez for the most innings (50 2/3).

“If it’s not a big deal to the guys who are hitting, and they’re not complaining about it … Rosin is on the back of the mound to get a grip on the ball. That’s what it’s used for,” he said. “If people find ways to get a grip on the baseball … If nobody has ever touched a Major League Baseball, most of the time it’s really slick for the simple fact they rub it with that mud and when it sits in a bag all of it feels is like a ball of dust. If it’s going to your mouth and wiping it off to get a grip on the ball, or going to your arm because you have rosin on your arm, or put the rosin on your arm, that’s what it’s meant for.

“Rosin or anything sticky on my arm isn’t going to make you throw a pitch where you want to throw.”

Part of the frustration for Buchholz revolves around the timing of the accusations, which coincide with one of the best runs of the pitcher’s career.

“To have somebody I’ve never talked to say that I’m out there cheating is sort of doing me an injustice,” he said.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox, sunscreen,
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