Today I was contacted by a Fox-TV replay operator who worked the Angels-Yankees game yesterday, and has examined every possible angle of the Mariano Rivera spitting episode.
(Notice how Rivera held the ball at the precise moment he spit? Why so?)
Because he didn’t want to speak for Fox, the gentleman asked that he not be identified. He also prefaced his comment to me by saying he was not a Yankees or Angels fan. His comment on the case after the jump.
Fox Replay Operator: “I have seen the raw video from the camera that had the tight shot of Rivera on the mound. With 100% certainty I can say that he did not spit on the ball, the spit went by his hand all the way to the ground.”
I don’t deny that the gentleman could be correct, but as I stated in my earlier post on the subject, why was Rivera holding the ball between his thumb and forefinger just as he expectorated? Seems awfully coincidental.
I think another reason you’re seeing so much protestation over the video is the amazing longtime success of Rivera, despite his having overwhelming stuff. People today are, sadly, trying to pass off his past success as the result of cheating. I certainly don’t subscribe to that, and the more I consider the video and images, the more I think he probably didn’t spit on the ball.
With all the cameras out there and Rivera never, ever being cited for such a thing before, I can’t imagine he would just start cheating now, out of the blue. And in that brazen a fashion.