Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez is getting some heat after cameras seemed to catch him rubbing substance off his hand and onto the ball.
The Astros facing cheating accusations? What?! The Houston Astros?!
Valdez started Game 2 and pitched 6-and-one-third innings, giving up 4 hits and one run in the process. However, it’s what he was doing between pitches that caught some attention.
Take a look at the video for yourself.
Valdes was subject to occasional substance checks courtesy of the umpire, but some have pointed out that he appears to wipe something off his hand as he was headed to the dugout between innings.
Sweaty palms, or an illegal substance?
While there’s certainly room to debate what we can see in those two videos, the man himself has given his side of the story.
Speaking through a translator, Valdez chalked all of those motions with his hand up to his pitching routine.
“Nobody should think it the wrong way. Those are just tendencies I do throughout the game, distracting the hitter from what I’m doing.”
It’s all sleight of hand. Nothing to see here.
Of course, given their track record in recent years, the Astros are always under the microscope.
This wasn’t even the first potential cheating incident in this year’s World Series.
Between Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, it was reported that catcher Martin Maldonado would be switching bats. The reason? The one he used in Game 1 turned out to have been illegal because the barrel was too large.
So, whether or not Valdez really was putting a little something-something on the ball, the suspicions are justified whenever the Astros are involved.
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