Dennis Eckersley called out Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Jack Morris for accusing Clay Buchholz of throwing spitballs during Boston’s win over Toronto on Wednesday.
Eckersley appeared on NESN’s post-game broadcast after the Red Sox’s 3-1 victory over Toronto Thursday and took several shots at Morris.
“I was upset during the game when we found out what was happening with Jack Morris, and the more I saw it, the more I started thinking about it, it made me more and more angry about Jack Morris. To me, that’s clueless on his part,” Eckersley said on NESN (via WEEI). “If he knew anything about Buchholz, he knows how nasty he is. His ball doesn’t dance all over the place. The guy paints. He’s got nasty stuff. [Morris] should know that, and he’s gotten carried away. It becomes about Jack Morris almost.”
“Where’s Jack Morris been all these years, anyway?” Eckersley continued. “He finally gets a job up there in Toronto and he has to make statements like that and take away from what this kid has done? I think it’s wrong. He’s pitched long enough to know…”
“I feel sorry for Buchholz to even have to deal with this. I’m styling here, and you’re taking away from me, a guy that can’t even make it to the Hall of Fame yet, and he’s chirping over there — zip it.”
Earlier on Thursday, Morris told ESPNBoston.com that Buchholz was throwing spitballs during his start Wednesday.
“I found out because the guys on the video camera showed it to me right after the game,” Morris told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com Thursday. “I didn’t see it during the game. They showed it to me and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ and I said, ‘Well, he’s throwing a spitter. Cause that’s what it is.”
Morris wasn’t the only one to question the Boston Red Sox starter of potentially doctoring the ball against the Blue Jays Wednesday.
“Look at the pitches. Fastball at 94 that goes like that,” Morris explained. “On a fastball?”
“It was all over his forearm, all over the lower part of his t-shirt, it’s all in his hair,” Morris told ESPNBoston.com. “I can’t prove anything. I can’t prove anything.”
“Funny thing, the way the game is played today. In our generation, every player, every coach would have seen it, the umpire would have gone out and made him change, made him stop and that changes everything. Or else they throw him out of the game. So what kind of bugs all of us is nothing is done here.”
The notion of Buchholz doctoring the ball was quickly shot down by the Red Sox pitcher and manager John Farrell earlier on Thursday.
“I have really no response,” Farrell told reporters. “If comments are going to be made because pitchers pitched well, then we’ll take it as a compliment.”
Morris did not appearr to agree with Farrell and told some of Boston’s players, including catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, of his suspicions before Thursday’s game.
“I went up to Salty and I told him,” Morris said. “He said, ‘It’s dry in Boston, and I’ve seen him put water all over his pants.’ I said, ‘Salty this isn’t my first [expletive] rodeo.’ He didn’t know what to say to that, so we ended the conversation right there.”
“I know for a fact he’s not doing anything illegal, as far as making his ball move more or cutting the ball to make it do this, that’s ridiculous,” Saltalamacchia told Edes.