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04/05/07 9:06 PM ET
Get a grip, says K-Rod
Angels closer: Resin -- and nothing else -- on his bill
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- The Angels had a two-word response to Internet posted allegations of doctoring baseballs by closer Francisco Rodriguez in two games this week against the Texas Rangers. "It's resin," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's the same stuff I've had since I was called up [in 2002]," Rodriguez said, showing his cap to a pair of reporters at his locker to show the resin residue on its bill. "A lot of pitchers use it. They rub it on their pants and use it when they need it. I have it on my cap. You can see it in all the pictures; it's there. "I don't see why they're making a big deal out of this. We can't worry about things we can't control. They haven't made it illegal, so it's something I do." Resin, Rodriguez said, helps with his grip on the baseball -- just as it helps hitters grip a bat. "It doesn't help me throw any harder," he said. Rodriguez was firing fastballs in the mid-90s along with his signature slider on Monday night and Wednesday afternoon against the Rangers. A Web site, The Cheater's Guide to Baseball Blog, accused him of having a substance under the bill of his cap and using it. It was reported by the Dallas Morning News on Thursday that Major League Baseball was conducting an investigation into the matter, headed by Bob Watson. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the team did not contact MLB with a complaint about Rodriguez. Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, told the newspaper his office found out about the allegation Thursday and Watson, in charge of discipline, was looking into it. Watson, the report continued, will review video of the games and might talk to umpires and players. Doctoring baseballs is a violation of rule 8.02b and could carry a maximum 10-game suspension. Resin is not an illegal substance, Scioscia submitted, claiming it was much ado about nothing. "I don't think there's a pitcher in the league who doesn't have [resin] show up somewhere on his uniform," Scioscia said. "It's legal. [This is] nothing." Rodriguez, fighting sinus congestion, struggled with his control on Wednesday, giving up a run in the ninth before claiming his second save. He threw a perfect ninth inning in saving the opener.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.