The mystery of Clay Buchholz and his shiny forearm continues. Can his success be attributed to his use of the old time baseball trick of throwing a spitter? Well, technically speaking, it was not a spitball. Turns out it was a bullfrog. Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan reports that the substance Buchholz was using on his arm was not just rosin, as Buchholz claimed, but a sunscreen called BullFrog.
It was during Buchholz's start in Toronto May 1 that Blue Jays broadcaster and former pitcher Dirk Hayhurst created an international incident when he tweeted that Clay had "slick'em painted up his arm" and was "loading the ball." Jays TV color analyst Jack Morris agreed and Dennis Eckersley told Jack to "zip it." I believe that may be the retired baseball player equivalent to throwing down the jockstrap gauntlet.
Is it a big deal? According to Passan's sources, "90 percent" of MLB players are using it as a way to get a better grip on the baseball. Apparently the BullFrog is pretty sticky on its own, but when combined with rosin it creates some sort of gorilla glue similar to pine tar (pitchers are not allowed to use that either). A source within the confines of Fenway said "pitchers have to use something because the balls are being rubbed up very differently this year." *insert prepubescent giggle here*
Buchholz and the Red Sox denied there was any funny stuff going on, but the Red Sox did confirm that pitchers do use sunscreen. Manager John Farrell told WEEI Boston today that Buchholz does not put sunscreen on his arm.
A Major League Baseball spokesman said it looks into any accusations of players using foreign substances to doctor the ball, but there is no plan to ban or test for bullfrogs in baseball. Now, if it is deer antler spray, well, we will let Dan Shaughnessy handle that one.
Buchholz will face the Blue Jays at Fenway Park this weekend. Grab your sunscreen fans, it's going to be a hot one.
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