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Thursday, October 1, 2009
Arroyo blames dirty old cap

Oh, those Cardinals. Always trying to stir something up ... This is the Kenny Rogers thing all over again, right? Gosh, it seems like just yesterday, but it was almost three years ago that these same Cardinals suggested that Rogers was benefitting from a bit of pine tar on his hand in Game 2 of the World Series. Rogers later said it was just a clump of dirt on his hand, and -- whatever it was -- he pitched quite nicely after washing it off.

This time it's Bronson Arroyo, and the supposed foreign substance is spotted on the bill of his cap rather than the base of his pitching thumb.

I saw a video clip of Arroyo today, explaining himself and displaying his cap. He seems like a straight shooter and I believe him. If Dave Duncan doesn't want pitchers running out with brown spots on their caps, then he should lobby his general manager to lobby for a rule prohibiting dirty baseball caps. That'd be fine with me (though I'd prefer they go after the gunky batting helmets first).

Another thing Duncan might lobby for: uniform rubbing. In the old days -- actually, just a few years ago, I think -- the umpiring crew took care of the baseballs, with the junior arbiter usually stuck with the job. But that practice died, presumably because the umpires hated the job, particularly with so many dozens of baseballs being used in every game. When the job is left to the home team, though, you're bound to wind up with a visiting team complaining when the balls don't seem up to snuff.

There's no obvious solution, other than Major League Baseball paying someone to do the dirty work. Quick, call the Commissioner's office ...