If Jon Lester did indeed use some sort of substance like Vaseline or pine tar to doctor his pitches in Game 1 of the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals are not concerned about it. When asked about photos and video clips that have been circulating the web on Thursday morning, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak insisted the team has already moved on.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s a non-issue,” Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s something that arose in social media and not from our players or manager or our coaching staff. To me it does not represent a concern.”
As an MLB spokesman said in his statement addressing the accusations, neither the Cardinals nor the umpiring crew raised any concerns about Lester doctoring the baseball on Wednesday night. If they were given any reason to believe that the ball was moving in a way that seemed unusual, they almost certainly would have mentioned something.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, who referred to GooGate as a “non-controversy,” speculated that Lester was using BullFrog sunscreen to help him get a better grip on the baseball. That is the same substance that Clay Buchholz allegedly used on his arm when he was accused of doctoring the ball back in May. During their ALDS series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Passan shared a screenshot of a bottle of BullFrog in Boston’s dugout.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 9, 2013
That game took place inside a dome at night, so the Red Sox obviously weren’t using the sunscreen to protect themselves from UV rays. Instead, their pitchers were likely using it to improve their grip on the baseball. As Passan noted, that is perfectly within the confines of the league rules. Hitters and pitchers agree that using sunscreen to grip the ball is entirely different from doctoring it to make it move more sharply. And if it was illegal to use the sunscreen, would the Sox really be stupid enough to leave it sitting on a shelf in the dugout?
And with that, this situation is likely to blow over rather quickly. There will probably be some chatter about it leading up to and during Game 2, but there’s still a World Series to be played — in case you may have forgotten.Google+