MLB: No evidence Lester used foreign substance

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) looks for a sign against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning of game one of the World Series at Fenway Park.
Greg M. Cooper | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) looks for a sign against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning of game one of the World Series at Fenway Park.
Posted Oct. 24, 2013, at 5:23 p.m.

Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester was accused of using an illegal substance in Game 1 of the World Series by a St. Louis Cardinals minor-leaguer, who made the assertion via social media.

Tyler Melling, a Class-A lefthanded pitcher and 2011 39th-round draft pick, posted via Twitter (@TylerMelling) “Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?” The message was accompanied by a still picture of a television shot in which what appears to be a glob of a greenish substance is visible near the webbing and pinkie of Lester’s black glove.

Major League Baseball said in a statement: “We cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game.”

General manager John Mozeliak said the Cardinals were not pursuing the matter further in a statement issued to major media outlets after Vine videos and photos of Lester’s glove spread through social media.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s a non-issue,” Mozeliak said. “It’s something that arose in social media and not from our players or manager or our coaching staff. To me it does not represent a concern.”

TBS baseball analyst and former relief pitcher Dirk Hayhurst made similar accusations in May. Hayhurst said Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz was doctoring the baseball on the mound.

In 2006, the Cardinals appealed to umpires during the World Series to have Detroit Tigers left-handed starter Kenny Rogers’ glove and hat be inspected for illegal substances. The team charged that Rogers was using pine tar.

Buchholz to start Game 4

Clay Buchholz’s season is not over.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Buchholz is scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday in St. Louis.

According to media reports, the Red Sox were considered shutting down the right-hander because of arm fatigue and starting left-hander Felix Doubront in Game 4 on Sunday night at St. Louis. However, Farrell said Wednesday that right-hander Jake Peavy is in line to start Game 3 on Saturday night at Busch Stadium, with Buchholz starting the next night.

“He’s going to pitch,” Farrell said of Buchholz. “After we went through some work today, he did throw a little bit in the outfield. We’ll probably look to give him every extra day we can, and that would point to Sunday.”

 

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