Dennis Eckersley To Jack Morris On Clay Buchholz Spitball Controversy: ‘Zip It. You’re Clueless’

  • Rick Chandler

So there’s some video and a couple of still photos bouncing around the social medias that some claim are proof that Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was throwing a spitter during his outing against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. And two of the Blue Jays broadcasters were all on board it that — with one, Jack Morris right out accusing him on ESPN:

“I found out because the guys on the video camera showed it to me right after the game,” he said. “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.”

But relief great Dennis Eckersely has had enough, and wants Morris to shut up. Eckersley to NESN, via WEEI:

“Where’s Jack Morris been all these years, anyway?” Eckersley said. “He finally gets a job up there in Toronto and he has to make statements like that and take away from what this kid [Buchholz] has done? I think it’s wrong. He’s pitched long enough to know.

“I feel sorry for Buchholz to even have to deal with this. I’m styling here, and you’re taking away from me, a guy that can’t even make it to the Hall of Fame yet, and he’s chirping over there — zip it.”

The Red Sox denied the accusations today.

“Loading up with what, rosin?” Buchholz said. “I get wet from my hair. Are they talking about the stains on my shirt? There probably are stains on my shirt, because I’ve been wearing the same shirt for the last three years.

“I’m doing the same thing right now as I did in 2008, when I was sent down to Double-A. But I guess something’s got to be wrong, right?'”

Red Sox manager John Farrell:

“He’s got rosin on his arm,” said Farrell, visibly annoyed. “He’s not loading up; he’s got rosin on his arm. As soon as someone pitches well or does well, they’re cheating.”

Another Blue Jays broadcaster, Dick Hayhurst, went to Twitter with his suspicions.

Tom Verducci of wrote today that Buchholz most likely isn’t throwing a spitball (Curt Schilling agreed on ESPN today). What Buchholz is likely doing, said Verducci, is using water and rosin to get a better grip on the ball — not using it to throw a spitball and make the pitch move. Buchholz, said Schilling, gets into trouble at times because of poor location. He wouldn’t want the ball to move unpredictably.

Eckersley agrees:

“Guys, you talk about stick-’em, whatever that is, pine tar. He knows that you go to something if you’re sweaty just to get a grip. It’s all about a grip. You saw the comment — that guy [Hayhurst] backed off a little bit, saying maybe it’s rosin, maybe it’s this, but if you just watch the game, you know: the ball disappears on you.

“When you throw a spitball, the ball falls off the table, and you know it right away. The hitters didn’t complain, but Jack Morris is.”

Pretty weak and reeking of homerism by Morris and Hayhurst, I must say.