Is Tipping Pitches Ever Ok?

The steroids revelation from Spring Training and the other allegations that he took steroids in high school and with the Yankees were disappointing.

The latest allegation against A-Rod is that he tipped opposing batters off about what pitches to expect.

In part because the very possibility of this is so offensive to baseball fans, the New York Times published a story about a “gift” to Mickey Mantle in the weeks before he retired.

Denny McClain had already won 30 games, the Tigers had already secured the pennant and were up 6-1 late in the game. So they let him hit one out. Check out a video interview with the Mick describing the “gift”. It doesn’t quite jive with the story as told by Jim Price in the New York Times, but it’s still entertaining.

Doug Glanville, who has been writing op-eds for the New York Times isn’t convinced that A-Rod was tipping pitches to opponents. His main point in a column from earlier this week:

How would this scheme have been missed for Alex’s entire career? We all know that every time he plays, the camera zooms in on him. Opposing teams watch him obsessively, studying film endlessly. The “A-Rod cam” is on full tilt all the time. So, over a period of years, did the best in the business, the brightest analysts and teammates, miss that he was doing this for his roommate from the year before, or maybe for his cousin’s favorite player? Or did they know it but were afraid to come forward? Is it possible that all of these experts had their heads in the sand?

Glanville makes sense. I’m still disappointed in Rodriguez, but I’ll keep an open mind. I seem to remember another great player getting a “gift” home run right before retiring. Ted Williams – who hit a home run in his last at-bat – someone else? I just can’t remember and couldn’t find it after a Google Search.

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