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"Juiced Balls"


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Anybody catch the Giants game last night at Colorado where Lincecum tossed a ball back to Posey and was shown mouthing ""f***ing juiced balls. It's bulls***,"?



Here's an article about the matter:



John Shea from Denver, where talk about the Rockies messing with the humidor balls will continue so long as a third party doesn't oversee the process . . .The latest hubbub that there's funny business with the baseballs used here came from none other than Tim Lincecum, who threw a gem in Friday night's series opener but had an issue with one of the balls that was supposed to be stored in a humidor.


During the sixth inning, a new ball was thrown in to Lincecum after Lincecum's 2-2 pitch to Miguel Olivo was in the dirt. Lincecum looked at the new ball oddly, began to rub it up and finally threw it back to catcher Buster Posey, asking for a new ball.


"F---ing juiced balls. It's bulls---," Lincecum was seen saying on camera.


If you want to see it yourself, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4iVpgf6Lg0


I wrote a piece about the humidor in Tuesday's paper, giving both sides of the issue, but it's clear it's really up to the Rockies how the process of getting the balls from the humidor to the pitcher's hand is monitored.


MLB needs to do more, perhaps putting an official not on the Rockies payroll in charge of the process. I'm told the issue could be addressed at the GM meetings in November.


Here's the story: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/09/21/SPC21FGRMA.DTL


In this story, an MLB official -- my source because Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB's senior VP of baseball operatations, did not make himself available for an interview after I suggested to him full disclosure would be wise -- suggested the umpires have final say about which balls are used and that they can tell the differece between a humidor ball and non-humidor ball.


But I spoke with this series' crew chief, John Hirschbeck, and he had another story.


First off, I asked Hirschbeck if he could tell the difference between humidor balls and non-humidor balls.


"No, I really can't, he said. "We take six out of here (the umpires' room), whatever you carry normally when you leave here and start the game with. When foul balls go in the stands, we have to call for the ball boy."


Is the process of selecting which balls go in the ball bag, which is placed in the Rockies' dugout, involve the umpires at all?


"We have nothing to do with it," Hirschbeck said.


He added, "Whatever they're doing, it's fair to both sides."


I told him that's the question: Is it really fair to both sides? "There's only one bag," he said. "Two bags, actually. One with the scuffed balls. The other, our attendant takes out from here."


That's what we want to believe, I told Hirschbeck, adding if it's not fool-proof, it ought to be.


"I've never thought twice about it," he said. "What you're telling me is the first I've ever heard about it. I know about the humidor. But as far as changing the balls, that's an age-old thing, someone's trying to screw with the other team. But I doubt it very much."


He thought of the young ball boy and added, "You'd have to get some kid over there" to be in on the conspiracy.


Hirschbeck said more than 100 balls are used in a game and that he carries as many as six in his pouches at one time.


Before I left the umpires' room, Hirschbeck smiled and cracked, "I'll tell you what. This week, we'll make sure we don't switch them on you guys."


I laughed and reminded him I'm not employed by the Giants.


For Lincecum, however, it's no laughing matter.


During tonight's game, follow on Twitter: @JohnSheaHey and @HankSchulman







Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/giants/detail?entry_id=73157#ixzz10ZTd4nZs

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Another article on the matter:


DENVER -- Umpires are keeping a close eye on game balls at Coors Field after the San Francisco Giants expressed concern to the commissioner's office that the Colorado Rockiesmight be using "juiced" balls when they're batting.Major League Baseball spokesman Pat Courtney confirmed that umpires were instructed to monitor game balls Saturday night during the Giants-Rockies game. Courtney said the Giants raised concern about the Rockies using balls Friday night that weren't properly stored in the humidor at Coors Field.


The story was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, which said the Giants filed a complaint with MLB after their 2-1 victory over Colorado on Friday.


"Complaint is too strong of a word," Courtney told The Associated Press. "There was concern raised."


For nine years, baseballs to be used in Rockies home games have been stored in a humidor, which helps keep them from becoming dried out and more hitter-friendly in Denver's thin air.


The Giants thought different balls were being used Friday night, so MLB decided to have umpires keep track of the balls going from the humidor into play.


"It's just to keep a constant visual on the process," Courtney said.


Giants ace Tim Lincecum had a 3-2 count on Miguel Olivo in the sixth inning Friday night when he got a new ball from plate umpire Laz Diaz. Lincecum rubbed up the ball, then threw it back in and asked for a different one.


"I thought in the back of my mind, this ball doesn't feel like it's a buffed-up ball. It doesn't feel like the ball I got a couple of balls ago," Lincecum said Saturday. "In a situation like that you just throw it back and hopefully get a new one, one that feels right."


Lincecum was caught on video saying "juiced ball," and using an expletive.


"When I said it I guess my emotions got the best of me," he explained. "There's speculation and I kind of verbalized it and that's it."


Lincecum had one of his best outings Friday in the series opener between two teams still fighting for the playoffs. He retired his first 15 batters and allowed just one run on two hits over eight innings.


Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said he joked with Lincecum after the game about the controversy.


"I did see him in the weight room," Tulowitzki said. "I said, 'C'mon, you just pitched a two-hitter against us. How juiced can the balls be?' He said some of them feel like they're big, some of them feel like they're small. I don't know, he had some of his best stuff."


Neither manager wanted to get involved.


"I don't know a thing about it. I can't even tell you where the hell the humidor room really is," Rockies skipper Jim Tracy said. "Since I was asked to manage this club nobody's asked me to approve any baseballs, nobody's asked me to rub any of them up, nobody's asked me if these have been in the humidor. It's absolutely none of my business."


Before games at Coors Field, balls are taken out of the humidor and rubbed up by the umpires' attendant. They are placed in a ball bag and put back into the humidor. After the national anthem, the ball bag is taken to the Rockies' dugout.


Tulowitzki said he's never seen different balls being used when the Rockies are up.


"I don't know what the whole story is, if they think we're changing balls. All I know is, before I go on deck I stand in the same spot every time, right next to the bucket of balls, and it's never being switched," he said.


Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was concentrating on the pennant race, but having the umpires keep an eye on the balls before they're put in play erases any doubt about foul play.


"We're not thinking about the humidor, we're just trying to win games," he said. "There's a process and you trust the process. That's the way it has to be. If there's any eyebrows raised, it takes that away."

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