Tuesday, October 24, 2006

HItting coach Hal McRae calls KR out

USA Today:
"It was so blatant," Cardinals hitting coach Hal McRae told USA TODAY on Monday. "What was so strange about it was how obvious it was, in the World Series. It's a shame a guy would cheat in a World Series game. It hurts the integrity of the game.

"He wasn't just cheating by using pine tar; he was scuffing balls, too. We collected about five or six balls that are scuffed. He had to be using his fingernails or something."

Rogers, whose eight scoreless innings helped tie the series at one game apiece with Game 3 scheduled Tuesday at Busch Stadium, adamantly denied he cheated. Rogers, answering questions for nearly 30 minutes Monday, said he had only mud, dirt, rosin and spit on the base of his left thumb.

"Maybe it looked like pine tar; I don't know," said Rogers, who has pitched 23 scoreless innings in this postseason. "I'm skeptical of a lot of stuff (in baseball), too, but I'm not skeptical of my ability to pitch. My pitching isn't that dominant. ... I just know how to pitch."

Major League Baseball has no plan to investigate, according to spokesman Rich Levin, saying the issue was addressed Sunday night.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who said Monday, "I don't believe it was dirt, didn't look like dirt," met with his team before the workout to explain his reasoning for not having the umpire crew inspect Rogers.

"I was not going to be part of the BS where I was going to ask the umpire to go to the mound and undress the pitcher," La Russa said. "I alerted (plate umpire Alfonso Marquez). I said, 'I hope it gets fixed. If it doesn't get fixed, then I'll take the next step.' "

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