Angels fans have lost their freaking minds over the video below, which allegedly catches Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the act of spitting on a baseball, right there in front of God and Joe Buck and 45,000 fans.
The Angels won last night, incidentally, though you wouldn't know it from the vast persecution complex on display among their fan base this morning. Watch the video. Rivera, having come on in the bottom of the 10th, finishes his warmup tosses and spits somewhere in the vicinity of his ball. Anaheim fans believe this is conclusive evidence that Mariano Rivera is a fraud and a cheat and a wretched human being all-around, one with whom Fox producers are evidently in deep cahoots. Playing the role of Jim Garrison here is someone at Halos Heaven calling himself "Quinlan's Goofy Swing." Quinlan's Goofy Swing has posted frame-by-frame evidence that Rivera spat on his ball, complete with helpful captioning:
spit landing, as fox realizes what it is broadcasting and quickly cuts to scioscia (can still see the spit halo on top of the ball)
Elsewhere, someone with the handle "Rev Halofan" seems to think Rivera's peculiar success as a one-pitch pitcher has at last been explained. Rev Halofan writes:
Personally, the video you are about to watch is pretty amazing: I would say this is pretty conclusive evidence of why Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera is able to throw only one pitch that has unpredictable, yet precise movement.
He has mastered the Angels so far in the ALCS but has Major League Baseball gotten a look at how he "warms up" for his appearance on the mound? You be the judge...
* With a tie game in the bottom of the 10th, the Yankees bring in Rivera.
* After warming up, he has his back to home plate so the home plate ump can't see.
* He looks down at the ball, then up to see if the 2nd base ump is watching.
* He then looks back at the ball and appears to spit on it.
* And when he tests clean for steroids they say he is not a cheater.
Watch for yourself and consider first of all the sheer improbability that the game's greatest closer would doctor a ball in the same artless way that a kid would hock a loogie from a 10th-story window. Consider, too, that Rivera would've had to do this repeatedly — right there, as I say, in front of God and Joe Buck and 45,000 fans — to gain any real advantage. And finally, consider this: Unlikely as it is, the idea that Mariano Rivera, the Hammer of God himself, might throw some old-fashioned outlaw stuff to escape a tight spot is, to be frank, just about the coolest thing ever.
Mariano Rivera Spitball: Video Evidence? [Halos Heaven]
Mariano Rivera caught doctoring the ball ALCS game 3, 10th inning [Halos Heaven]