State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Five ways to cheat at baseball without using steroids

So, hey, who needs steroids? Creative ways to cheat are as old as the game itself. Here are five examples — some simply slippery, others more elaborate, and at least one that reads like something out of “Mission: Impossible.” Gaylord Perry was well-known for slicking up the ball to make it dive and curl. You name it, he used it: Vaseline, hair tonic, his own spit.His reputation was so established that Perry used it to mess with hitters’ minds.Before every pitch, even the legal ones, he went through such a series of contortions —running his fingers along the inside of his cap, behind his ears, down his sleeves — that he looked more like a sleight-of-hand magician or a mime than a pitcher.The irascible Cleveland Indians slugger Albert Belle had his bat confiscated on July 15, 1994, when the manager of the Chicago White Sox raised the possibility that it was corked.Corking a bat — hollowing out the business end and replacing the wood with material like cork or even ground-up superballs — makes the bat lighter and thus the hitter’s swing quicker.Say the words “pine tar” or the name “George Brett” to baseball fans, and they think of the greatest thermonuclear meltdown in the history of the game.On July 24, 1983, with his Kansas City Royals down 4-3 to the New York Yankees with two men out in the ninth inning, Brett hit a home run against Goose Gossage, putting the Royals ahead 5-4.Billy Martin, the Yankees manager, who elevated paranoia to an art form, called for an inspection of the bat. Using home plate as a ruler, the home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, found that Brett had pine tar too far up the handle.Pine tar helps hitters grip the bat, and Rule 1.10(c) specifies that it can’t go farther up the bat than 18 inches. Brett was called out. Final score: Yankees 4, Royals 3.


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