Since baseball was invented pitchers have been working on new ways to get batters out; many times going beyond what the rule book allows. Pitchers have discovered numerous ways to doctor the ball to make it move unusually when they throw the pitch. All kinds of foreign substances have been illegally put on the ball in the attempt to gain an edge over the batter. The list of pitchers and tricks is a mile long. For instance, Roger Clemens is notorious for putting pine-tar on his glove to help him grip the baseball in cold or wet weather.
One of the most notorious “doctorers of baseballs” ever was Don Sutton. Umpires league wide were certain that Sutton was doctoring up the ball. On one particular night in 1978, umpire Doug Harvey found a foreign substance on the ball during an at bat. Harvey immediately tossed Sutton out of the game. Sutton was livid! He refuted Harvey’s claim, and even threatened to sue Harvey and the other umpires if they ejected him from the game. The truth of the matter is that Sutton had a case. Harvey removed Sutton from the game for “throwing” a doctored ball, but could not definitively say that Sutton had doctored the ball. This was the closest any umpire ever got to catching Sutton doing anything illegal with the ball.
Because umpires had never been successful actually catching Sutton in the act, they were always hesitant to waste time looking for something illegal. When one umpiring crew went to the mound to search Sutton’s glove for a foreign substance, they instead found a note from Sutton. It read: “You’re getting warm, but it is not here.”
So far every team that I have been pulling for has dropped out of the picture. Although, last night Pujols kept the Cards alive with a lunar blast (excuse the Houston/NASA pun).