Dirk Hayhurst‘s allegations against Clay Buchholz caused quite the media firestorm this week, and the opinions are still filing in.
Hayhurst’s claim that Buchholz doctored the baseball during his start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday was met plenty with of criticism in Boston. Both Dennis Eckersley and Jerry Remy defended Buchholz, as did the pitcher’s teammates and Red Sox manager John Farrell. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, however, understands where Hayhurst is coming from.
Verducci wrote in a column that he reviewed “plenty of video” of Buchholz from the past two years in great detail, and he determined that Buchholz is doing something with his left forearm this year that he wasn’t doing last year.
Hayhurst, a former pitcher who now works for Rogers SportsNet in Toronto, accused Buchholz on Wednesday of using a foreign substance that was located on his left forearm, which would be a violation of Major League Baseball’s rules. The following is what Verducci wrote about his own video review:
“Buchholz’s left forearm glistens this year with some kind of substance that is not rosin or perspiration. As the righthander admitted, he does keep water on his uniform and in his hair and does pat the rosin bag on his left forearm — all apparently legal. But rosin is white and has a matte finish. Something wet and mostly clear glistens from Buchholz’s left wrist to his elbow, the moisture of which darkens the edge of his left undershirt sleeve.
This is not perspiration on his left forearm. His right forearm is dry. There is no darkening on the edge of his right undershirt sleeve.
He regularly rakes his right index and middle fingers across his left forearm, being careful to keep his other fingers raised.
Buchholz’s two-seam fastball (thrown with the index and middle fingers on the seams) is much improved with more movement this year; I wrote about this key improvement in his game weeks ago.”
Verducci goes on to explain that most pitchers use something to improve their grip. He doesn’t seem to take a stance or voice his opinion on the matter, but it’s clear he’s in Hayhurst’s camp when it comes to thinking Buchholz is up to something.