Several Boston Red Sox players believe that Yankees ace CCSabathiawas doctoring the ball with potato chip grease during Sunday's opener at Fenway Park.
"It was so obvious he was doing it." said Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "The ball was all shiny and it was darting all around in the early innings. Every time I took a ball it smelled like salt and vinegar flying by."
Sabathia only allowed one run in the first four innings, prompting Boston manager Terry Francona to ask the home plate umpire to check him for delicious treats. Umpire Joe West instead warned Sabathia, and cameras between innings showed the pitcher downing various items — chips, cookies, cupcakes, leg of lamb — that he appeared to have had stowed in his uniform.
In the fifth Sabathia yielded another run before getting rocked in the sixth inning on the way to a Yankee loss.
"Once all the chip grease was off his fingers, we took it to him," said Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "He couldn't make the ball move the same way. Plus, I think he was hungry and depressed."
But Boston hitters saySabathiawas not just guilty of using potato chip grease. Some pointed out traces of caramel, nougat, and Oreo cookie crumbs left behind on their bats.This is not the first timeSabathiahas been linked to performance-enhancing substances. Last season, several empty boxes of Vienna Fingers were found in his locker room.
Major League Baseball plans to investigate, according to spokesman Rich Levin, saying the issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Levin affirmed that no foreign substance will be tolerated, whether it be salty or savory.
"Maybe it looked like potato chip grease, but I swear I don't keep any of that stuff on the field or in the pockets of my uniform," saidSabathiaduring a press conference. "It was probably just sweat. I sweat a lot."
Addressing the dark, chocolatey stains around his mouth,Sabathiatold reporters they were "just a birthmark" and then licked it away.