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K-Rod Cheating?

I know it's not a trade rumor, but this is worth a look.  Derek Zumsteg, author of The Cheater's Guide To Baseball, may have uncovered some shady behavior on the part of Angels' closer Francisco Rodriguez.  He's got screenshots of the mysterious substance over at his blog.  Derek mentions in the comments that the Rangers complained to the Commissioner's Office after the game.

It seems that thus far, the mainstream media either didn't notice the story or chose to ignore it.  Halos Heaven comments on the possibility, asking why teams didn't uncover this years earlier.  The problem is that everyone affiliated with this little situation seems to root for an AL-West team, so biases may sneak through. 

UPDATE: The Rangers found out about the allegations yesterday, but did not contact the Commissioner's Office.  Through some other means, perhaps just by browsing the web, MLB found out about it today and is investigating.

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For what it's worth, I also took a look at the situation by going off of Zumsteg's analysis and adding a bit: I've got some additional photos, as well as a pretty critical 51 second video of K-Rod's suspicious movements as referenced in Zumsteg's piece.

You can find it here: http://mvn.com/mlb-rangers/2007/04/04/k-rod-cheating/

Nice! That vid is a must-watch. At the very least, he has some 'splainin' to do.

One could say he adjusts his cap a lot as a habit, but he did it in a way that seemed he was trying to get at the substance. The going to the cap plus the clear presence of something really make the most likely conclusion cheating.

Sure, it could be a habit of his plus some rosin crap that found its way up there...but that is not the most likely explanation.

Someone at BTF thinks it might be sweat stains, a la Steve Kline, I believe. But that's an awful clean hat otherwise, and it really looks like something foreign.

Interesting that we haven't heard anything mainstream, as you note.

It also makes you wonder just how long he's been doing this, the kid's always had wicked nice movement. The outright nonchalance, if he was indeed using a substance, would lend itself to the thought as well.

Judging by the fact that he continually wiped some of it off on his pants after each touch im guessing it was chalk or rosin or something to keep his fingers dry. I doesnt look like his fastballs were moving any more or less than his normal fastballs, so I feel like its probably not vasoline or a similar substance. I think it was just hot and he didnt want to have to keep going to the rosin bag. It is cheating none-the-less but not as bad.

Disclaimer-I am not a Angels fan just a neutral observer

Are you kidding me? So, we're going to accuse a baseball player of cheating for no other reason than he has some weird tick when adjusting his hat? Because, ya know, baseball players are pictures of normalcy and never had weird OCD-like nervous ticks.... Is this any weirder than Nomar fiddling with his gloves every time he takes a cut?

As for "clear presence", I couldn't tell if it was shadows, dirt, sweat, or anything, and I have no idea how anyone can say that's definitive.

KRod's hat practically falls off when he pitches. He has always done the same thing with his cap. Every pitch was fairly straight. He was pitching to a team that basically stinks. What could have been light, rosin anything seems to appear in the exact place and pattern as the lights would reflect off his brim.

Yeah, that adds up to cheating.

I think a jury of 12 baseball fans with no fan affiliation with the AL West would find him guilty of cheating.

There's no comparison to Nomar. There's no way that could be cheating. A guy who's not adjusting his cap but actually rubbing his fingers in a certain spot on it, a spot that has a substance, it very very suspicious. Period.

I'll admit I'm partial to the Angels, but couldn't his hat be white because it's faded from his grabbing it all the time?

In other words, maybe it's white because he grabs it, not that he grabs it because it's white.

Of course, that would assume he's been using the same hat for a while (i.e., before this week), but a lot of players pull a John Wetteland and use the same hat for many years.

I'm an NL fan and don't give a crap about the AL West and I think it's pretty obvious that he is cheating. First of all, if it's rosin why is it only on the underside of the brim? If rosin built up that much, it would have to be on the top too, unless he only picks up the bag with his thumbs. Which would be awesomely hilarious, by the way.
The season is less than a week old. If he sweats that much (and for some reason, only at the front of the brim) in three days, he should see a doctor. It's a new hat (new hats this year-plus, dark underside=new hat), so any argument about it being a build-up of anything is unlikely.
Being impartial, I would put money on it that he is cheating.
Whoever belives he's not cheating probably believed Sosa accidentally grabbed his "batting practice bat."

It doesn't look good for him. I can't make out what it is honestly, if you're defending him by saying it's dirty or it's habit, just look at the hat. There is SOMETHING on the brim and the fact that people say he's always done it out of habit is even more conspicuous. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts now that it's out and the open.

Dude, I'm a Braves fan. If anything, I'd pull for the As in the AL West. Making a case that KRod was cheating based on the "evidence" presented is asinine.

its asinine to think that the white spot is faded from his mythical habits. This was the first game of the year. You'd have to be the type of dope that thinks O.J. was innocent to say that there isn't at least something suspicious going on.

First game =! new hat.

Haha..
If this was Barry, all the doubters here would be crying saying he is guilty...Nice to see the shoe on the other foot!!!

This might be worth an update. The Angels official website has an article responding to the allegation.

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070405&content_id=1881929&vkey=news_ana&fext=.jsp&c_id=ana

First, lets get this out in the open: huge A's fan, living in Southern California, watch a lot of Angels baseball....

Regarding the rosin argument, I agree with Marvel. Why is there no rosin on the top of the hat? And given that he constantly walks behind the mound, why does he need to have rosin on his person when the bag is three steps away?

Regarding sweat: Spring Training hats are different from regular season hats, so it's not his ST hat. And, according to ESPN's box score, it was 63 degrees and clear at game time, not really a perspiration-inducing climate...

Regarding the cap-adjustment theory: I've read today that it's a habit he's adapted since switching to contacts. He claims he used to adjust his specs, but now he's grabbing his hat. So he's claiming going to the hat is new. But watching the video, I don't even see the cap being adjusted. He grabs the brim with his thumb and index/middle fingers and pulls his hand away.

A's were in Anaheim last night so I had an opportunity to look for more evidence. However, there wasn't anything visible on his hat. so, if the substance was/is rosin--and therefore legal--why remove it?

Bottom line, he threw a lot of 81-82 mph changeups last night and got burned by Piazza. Not sure yet if that's more evidence or just coincedence....

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