Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Yankee Doodle Double Standard: It's Not Cheating If the Red Sox Do It

If David Ortiz did what O.J. Simpson did -- stabbed his ex-wife and her friend to death -- instead of police chasing him down the freeway, Major League Baseball would give him an escort to Logan Airport, and fly him out of America's jurisdiction on their own dime.

Let's tell the truth: There is one set of rules for the Boston Red Sox, and another set of rules for everybody else. It's the Yankee Doodle Double Standard.

Yes, Michael Pineda was caught using pine tar last night, and he was thrown out of the game, and will likely be suspended for it -- meaning he'll miss 2 or 3 starts. Yes, it was stupid.

But the Red Sox complaining about cheating is like that idiot rancher in Nevada calling anyone else a "freeloader." This is only partially about the steroids used by Ortiz, and previously by Manny Ramirez, and who knows how many other Red Sox scofflaws. (Ah, but if the law isn't applied, how easy it is for them to scoff at it!)

Jon Lester had that green goop on his glove during last year's World Series. Was he punished? Was he so much as investigated? No.

Clay Buchholz got caught with white goop on his arm last May. Was he punished? Was he so much as investigated? No. Jack Morris, now broadcasting for that night's opponents, the Toronto Blue Jays, called Buchholz out on it. And on ESPN, Hall-of-Famer Dennis Eckersley (a former Red Sox pitcher), said, "I think Jack Morris should zip it. I feel sorry for Buchholz to even have to deal with this." Hey, Eck: If you don't want to deal with what happens if you get caught breaking the rules, don't break the rules. Buchholz got caught by Morris... and he got away with it, because he's a goddamned Red Sock.

When Pineda pitched against the Red Sox last week, some of them knew he'd been using pine tar, but backed away from accusing him of cheating:

* Pitcher Chris Capuano: "In in my mind, there is a difference between doctoring the ball to make it do something funny, versus to get a grip."

* Catcher David Ross: "Maybe it’s cheating, but I don’t really look at it that way."

* Even Ortiz himself, the most blatant, unrepentant and dishonest cheater in baseball history, said of Pineda that night, "Everybody uses pine tar in the league. It's not a big deal."

He's probably wrong about "everybody" using it. But he may be right about a lot of pitchers using it. And by saying, "It's not a big deal," he may be sticking up for a fellow Dominican, much like those jackasses who held up banners and Dominican flags in the old Yankee Stadium's bleachers for Pedro Martinez when he pitched his 17-strikeout one-hitter in 1999. (You want to do that, fine, but don't do it in the bleachers. Those seats are for people who want the Yankees to win, and don't give a damn about the nationality of either side's players: The uniform is the flag.)

Sox manager John Farrell got cute: "Guys look to create a grip, but, typically, you're not looking to be as blatant as him." (Meaning Pineda.)

Oh, I see: Farrell's not mad that Pineda "cheated." He's mad that Pineda got caught.

Why? Why is getting caught cheating worse than the actual cheating? And, if it is, why, then, play David Ortiz, who cheated, lied about it, got caught, and lied about it again -- just like Pineda? Apparently, what's good for Pinstriped goose (not to be confused with Rich Gossage) isn't good for the Red-Socked gander.

Maybe Farrell's just pissed that, now, the umpires will be looking at Sox pitchers, to see if they're cheating.

Yeah, don't bet on the umps investigating Sox pitchers the same way. He's still new to this rivalry, and may not know: A Red Sox player can do whatever he wants, because the Red Sox winning is good for Major League Baseball's profits. Whereas a Yankee player can't do anything that looks to the Red Sox like it's "unfair," because, apparently -- the evidence since 1996 to the contrary -- the Yankees winning isn't good for MLB's profits.

Funny, I didn't see Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue getting upset when the Dallas Cowboys won. Or David Stern when the Chicago Jordans, the Los Angeles Kobes and the Miami LeBrons won. Or Gary Bettman when the Pittsburgh Crosbys and the 2 Los Angeles teams (the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and the L.A. Kings in 2012) won.


Oh yes, there was a game last night. Whatever Pineda was doing last night, clearly, it wasn't working, because the Sox already led 2-0 when he got tossed. Joe Girardi leafed through his Binder, and sent David Phelps out to replace him, and he allowed 2 more runs. Matt Thornton, Preston Claiborne and Adam Warren were more or less fine from then on.

But it didn't matter, because the fried-chicken-gulping, beer-swilling bastard John Lackey shut the Yankee bats down. Aside from an RBI single by Alfonso Soriano in the 6th, the Yankees didn't get any runs home. They left 7 men on base.

Red Sox 5, Yankees 1. WP: Lackey (3-2). No save. LP: Pineda (2-2).

The series concludes tonight, with CC Sabathia opposed by Felix Doubront. How will the Red Sox try to game the system this time? Probably by hiding CC's pregame meal, so he's hungry.
That's fine, of course. So says MLB. After all, it's not "cheating" if the Red Sox do it. 

UPDATE: Right after I first posted this, MLB's decision came down: Pineda has, indeed, been suspended for 10 games. He'll miss starts at home to Seattle, and either home to Tampa Bay or away to Anaheim.

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