Hayhurst, a former pitcher who now works for Rogers SportsNet in Toronto, insisted, “I’m not wrong,” during a radio appearance Friday. He still seems to think that Buchholz used a foreign substance on his forearm in order to gain an edge during Wednesday’s start against the Blue Jays.
“Look, I saw Clay Buchholz going to his forearm, where there was not skin-colored something there, taking two fingers, wiping it across, massaging said cream or Stickum or slickum or whatever the popular buzzword of today is, and then using it to grip the baseball,” Hayhurst said on SportsNet 590 The Fan. “That’s illegal. You can’t do that.”
Hayhurst’s accusations, which were later backed up by fellow Toronto broadcaster Jack Morris, drew the ire of those in Boston. Red Sox manager John Farrell called Hayhurst’s claims “unfounded,” while Buchholz himself denied any wrongdoing.
“All of these things are technical rule violations. Is he cheating? Yeah. Is most of baseball cheating? Yes. Is my observation unfounded? No,” Hayhurst said.
Hayhurst’s claims have also been met with some anger by Red Sox fans. Since the Blue Jays are off to an awful start, some are considering the whole incident to be a case of sour grapes.
“The irony of this is that the lowest common denominators of the world out there will immediately latch on to the record and say all of your criticisms are discounted by the fact that your team sucks,” Hayhurst said, adding, “Fact: [The Jays] suck. And Clay Buchholz still cheated.”
Perhaps the biggest opponent of the accusations made against Buchholz was NESN’s own Dennis Eckersley, who took exception with the fact that someone is trying to smear what has been an incredible start to the season for the right-hander. Eckersley responded to Hayhurst and Morris both before and after Thursday’s game, even saying that Morris should “zip it.”
“I’ve got two eyes and a lot of experience around the game,” Hayhurst said. “I don’t have championships. But if you’re going to measure a person’s ability to tell the truth about the game of baseball by championships, then Jack Morris should really be telling Dennis Eckersley to zip it. … So, all I want to say is if you don’t know what I saw, please don’t just say because you didn’t play long enough anything you did saw is suddenly — this is only the court of baseball. I love the court of baseball, where there’s so much posturing.
“Dennis Eckersley, I hope you’re listening,” Hayhurst added. “I’m not taking anything away from Clay Buchholz. I’m giving him credit. Because it takes a lot of skill to cheat. It does. But you know what? If you’re going to do it blatantly, someone’s going to see you doing it. It’s not going to cost you against the Blue Jays, who are just God-awful right now. And I’m not calling out Clay Buchholz because I’m bitter and I’m angry that my beloved Jays are losing. I don’t care. It’s my job as an analyst to be impartial. I see him doing it, I’m going to mention it, that’s my job.”
Well, Hayhurst is at least right about one thing. The Blue Jays are God-awful.