During Game 2 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies, cameras spotted Astros starter Framber Valdez rubbing the ball with what appeared like a foreign substance that was in his hand.
The baseball universe, especially on Twitter, spotted the situation and people started to talk about it.
They called him a cheater, without really knowing what was on his hand.
The truth is that we probably won’t know the exact substance or if there was any, but Valdez defended himself in his most recent encounter with the media.
“#Astros starter Framber Valdez was asked about the insinuations online that he was using a substance. ‘They shouldn’t think anything bad about it…I everything out in the open, in plain sight.’ (Translation follows his answer),” Astros reporter Daniel Gotera tweeted.
#Astros starter Framber Valdez was asked about the insinuations online that he was using a substance. "They shouldn't think anything bad about it…I everything out in the open, in plain sight."
(Translation follows his answer) pic.twitter.com/HSL5e9fFu6
— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) October 30, 2022
In reality, one would think that if he were cheating, he wasn’t going to be so evident.
Sweat Is Not Really A Banned Substance For MLB Pitchers
Twitter personality Rob Friedman, known as the Pitching Ninja, offered a potential explanation for Valdez rubbing the ball with a substance from his hand.
It's almost definitely sweat.
Sweat helps "activate" rosin…making it tackier.
You'll see a ton of pitchers go to their hair too.
Sweat isn't a foreign substance.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 30, 2022
Sweat, as Friedman states, is not on the list of foreign substances banned for MLB pitchers.
Other videos have shown Valdez doing something similar in his first start of the season, so it was nothing new or illegal.
The left-hander was very effective and kept the Phillies at bay on Saturday, with his curveball being particularly nasty.
It generated nine swings-and-misses and reached incredible spin rate numbers.
However, that has been the case all season.
In all likelihood, Valdez did not cheat and the Internet overreacted (understandably so) to the videos.