Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz accused of throwing spitballs
The Boston Red Sox are the best team in Major League Baseball. They're the only team with 20 wins this season, and they have a 2 1/2-game lead over the rival Yankees in the AL East.
But the biggest story in Red Sox Nation right now apparently isn't the team's success.
It's an accusation by Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Jack Morris that Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is throwing spitballs.
Morris leveled the charge after watching tape of Wednesday's game at Rogers Centre, which the Red Sox won 10-1.
"I found out because the guys on the video camera showed it to me right after the game," Morris told ESPNBoston.com. "I didn't see it during the game. They showed it to me and said, 'What do you think of this?' and I said, 'Well, he's throwing a spitter. 'Cause that's what it is."
This provoked a strong reaction from Red Sox manager John Farrell.
"He's not loading up; he's got rosin on his arm," Farrell said. "As soon as someone pitches well or does well, they're cheating."
The controversy provoked another ESPN.com writer, David Schoenfield, to drop a nearly 800-word column on how glorious it is to have something other than wins and losses to talk about.
"I love a good cheating accusation," Schoenfield writes. "I mean - peanuts, hot dogs, hating the Yankees, pitching inside and cheating: Aren't they all a fundamental part of the game we love?"
He then proceeds to drop a bunch of stats showing how Buchholz's pitches compare to other players who were accused in the past of throwing spitballs.
This all got major treatment on ESPN.com's front page:
The Red Sox are the best team in baseball - a title very few people expected them to have - and all ESPN wants to talk about is spitballs?
And that's before we get to all those accusations of ESPN being biased towards the Red Sox and Yankees.
Now I can understand why the Blue Jays might be annoyed. They were the trendy pick to win the division this year, and they're currently in last place with a 10-19 record.
So the Blue Jays have almost as many losses as the Red Sox do wins.
Perhaps spitballs aren't the reason for that?