Goo-Gate: Did Red Sox Pitcher Jon Lester Apply Foreign Substance to Ball?

Categories: Cardinals

lester_ball.jpg
Jon Lester's sleight of hand?
Updated below with response from Lester.

Jon Lester pitched a masterful game last night. The Red Sox lefty had the bumbling Cardinals looking like preschoolers at tee-ball practice, striking out eight Redbird batters and allowing zero runs through seven-plus innings of work in an embarrassing Game 1 loss for St. Louis.

So naturally Lester was cheating, right? So say the armchair conspiracy theorists this morning who swear they saw Lester rub the ball with some kind of goo last night. And like the mystery shooter on the grassy knoll, all the evidence can be found in the following grainy footage of last night's contest:

The clip was enough to convince Tyler Melling, a minor-league pitcher with the Cardinals, that something seemed fishy.

And from there the story has taken on a life of its own, winning the Internet with coverage in Yahoo Sports, Deadspin, Bleacher Report and CBS Sports, to name just a few.

See also: Best and Worst Cardinals' World Series Memories

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The conspiracy isn't the first time that an opposing pitcher against the Cardinals has been accused of cheating in the World Series. Remember 2006 when Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers was suspected of wiping some mysterious substance (perhaps pine tar, perhaps fairy dust) on the ball in Game 2 of the World Series -- the only game Detroit won that year?

See also: Six Bets Between Red Sox and Cardinals Fans

But what say you? Was Lester cheating last night, or is Cardinal Nation in desperate need of an excuse? And did Pete Kozma's glove also have WD-40 in it? Does that explain the ball slipping through his glove in two botched plays at short stop?

Update: This afternoon Jon Lester commented on goo-gate to ESPN's Buster Olney.

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29 comments
April Rogers
April Rogers

Seriously I dont care if they greased the ball or not and yeah they did play like shit but Preschoolers?! Was a low blow so maybe the RFT needs to get REAL journalists!! Guess I'll be un liking bye bye asses!!

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

No RFT, you're being douches yet again. Everyone wants the best team to win, just fair and square.

Sj Braun
Sj Braun

preschoolers ?? damn not so fair

Kenneth Snyder
Kenneth Snyder

The way I see it, the Cards were going to lose that game no matter what. BUT.... now that suspiscion was raised, the officials will be watching much more closely. I think it's pretty safe to say that this will not be an issue for the rest of the series.

Tamara Terese Carey
Tamara Terese Carey

Honestly, we were off our game so far last night, I don't think this mattered (if it is true).

Scott Smith
Scott Smith

He's also an alien, don't forget that part.

Ron Luster
Ron Luster

I don't think it made much of a difference. The Red Sox beat us in every facet of that game and deserved to win. They were ready to play, we were not. Simple as that.

Bridget Aholt Blair
Bridget Aholt Blair

I agree the Cards played extremely "weird", for lack of a better word. However, if there was greasing going on, more people than just Lester knew about. Home plate Ump, ball boys & anyone else that touched the balls he pitched or his gloved. With that in mind, shouldn't that call for a forfeiture or redo game? Really silly that this is being questioned after all the videos & pictures.

Ron Clements
Ron Clements

STOP ADDING GATE TO THINGS! It implies that Watergate had something to do with water when it was simply the name of the hotel.

Wil Grundon
Wil Grundon

Let the excuses and whining from the "best" fans in baseball commence...

Kenneth Snyder
Kenneth Snyder

Teresa Borah,it's a fair question but not unheard of. Sure the risk is high, but so are the rewards. Not saying h did it, in fact, I'm pretty sure he didn't. But if he did, it wouldn't be the first time it's happened in post season play. If memory serves, Kenny Rogers likely did the same thing when he pitched for Detroit against St. Louis in the 2006 WS.

Steve Ridling
Steve Ridling

I doubt it was Vaseline, probably pine tar as cool as the weather was and the way the ball was biting.

Kenneth Snyder
Kenneth Snyder

It should be looked into, but whatever Lester did last night, it was no excuse for the poor fielding we displayed last night. Every single run scored by the Sox could have been prevented if the infield was on their toes.

Corey Kallmbah
Corey Kallmbah

Greasing the ball doesn't have anything to do with our crappy play .pitchers use additives for two reasons .1 is to get more grip 2 is to get more movement on the ball .

Teresa Borah
Teresa Borah

If he did cheat and had gotten caught, he would have probably been tossed from the game and that could've made a hell of a difference, however, why would a pitcher even chance this since they go through so many balls during a WS game?

Tonray Crocker
Tonray Crocker

Let this be the Cards! We'd be run through the ringer if one of our pitchers were 'thought' to have cheated!! He obviously had something on that glove. Cheaters never prosper Boston!! oh, and RFT? Your constant BS articles only come across as snarky and ridic. Good thing your rag is free!

Dana Perardi
Dana Perardi

Cheaters never win, hoping tonight is much better for the Cards!

Debbie Arnold Dees
Debbie Arnold Dees

Some of the pictures and video sure seem to indicate he had something going on that he shouldn't have.

Katie Cottonfluff Hansen
Katie Cottonfluff Hansen

Even if there was a greased ball that greased ball didn't make our Cards play the way they did. Cards on the return tonight!! Get your game faces on boys!

Kirsten Mary
Kirsten Mary

Let's hope he did and that he gets caught!!!

Loré Boggess-Hayes
Loré Boggess-Hayes

Who cares. ..it was only 1 game and we played like crap. ..it'll be a mark on their rep if they had to cheat to win....I hope our organization doesn't even publicly acknowledge it but checks it out at least, behind the scenes

James Boone
James Boone

The Cardinals were terrible last night, did Lester cheat though?

alexqr79
alexqr79

@Kirsten Bonosluv That's a very stupid thing to say. I hope you meant: Let's hope If he did, he gets caught.

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