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Manny CorpasI noticed something when I was watching the Rockies play the Phillies yesterday. Looks like I wasn’t the only one.

Before he came into the game, Rockies closer Manny Corpas dumped a cup of water on his shirt.

From Philly.com:

TBS cameras on Corpas warming up before coming into yesterday’s 4-2 Colorado win in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park clearly showed the righthander pour a cup of water or soda on the front of his shirt before leaving the bullpen and then rubbing dirt on the area.

Then, when he went into the game, he appeared to go to that spot before several of his pitches in order to get a better grip on the baseball. Since the Rockies’ road jerseys are black, any discoloration on the shirt would have been difficult to detect.

I have to admit I’m not up to date on what qualifies as a foreign substance. Water and dirt don’t seem nearly as “foreign” as pine tar or sandpaper. But if spit balls are illegal, I imagine rubbing the ball with water probably is, too.

Is this a big deal? Should we care?

More to the point, does the MLB care? I guess we’ll find out.

3 Responses to “Scandal alert: Rockies’ reliever all wet.”

  1. Sarah Green says:

    Coley, he wouldn’t have dumped the water there to create slippage (like a spitball). He would be using the water to help his jersey hold the dirt, which would give him a better grip on the ball (like pine tar). Of course, it wouldn’t be sticky like pine tar, or give him as much of a grip as, say, scuffing the ball, but it could help him hold onto the ball better than if his hand was clean. Especially if the dirt was damp.

    Why not just stick with rosin? The rosin helps pitchers grip the ball by keeping their hands dry (I can relate, as my palms are notoriously sweaty….ew, I don’t know why I just shared that), but it has less effect in cold weather (hello, October!).

  2. It could simply be a habit he developed coming out of Panama City. Likely, water and dirt were considered a inexpensive way to get a better grip on the ball. When he made the big leagues, he probably kept it up out of habit, rather than switching to rosin. After all, it’s what got him there, right?

    Then again, it could be completely illegal and he would join the ranks of ball doctors in the post season. Too many to list here.

  3. Alejandro says:

    The worst of which, of course, is Kenny Rogers.

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