During Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Archer appeared to have a dot of pine tar on his waistline. He was called out for using it on certain pitches by FOX Sports Ohio broadcaster Chris Welsh.
“You know it’s kind of interesting. You be the judge at home. Chris Archer, I believe, has got some kind of foreign substance. Looks to me like pine tar. Right inside the belt area right there. Reaches down – pitchers do this – they need to get a grip on the ball. … And then later we got a shot where his shirt is pulled up a little bit more and you can really see some dark substance on his jersey. Which is poor planning on Archer’s part,” Welsh said, per Cincinnati.com.
Here’s a good look at what Welsh was looking at.
Archer denies he was using pine tar to doctor his pitches. Though, he did admit that perhaps some pine tar did get onto his uniform while in the batting cage before the game. He blamed that on the team’s throwback jersey, which sports a drawstring rather than a belt.
“There’s a drawstring that comes loose, so I was trying to keep my pants up,” he said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Since we hit and hit in the cage and do all that pregame, I guess at some point I got something on my shirt. A spot that’s like the size of a quarter.”
Now, here’s where Archer’s comments take a turn.
“A lot of people use foreign substance that’s illegal, so to throw that out, it’s more of like a personal vendetta than anything,” Archer said. “Because if you wanted to nitpick everything everyone did, you would suspect something on everyone.”
Pointing out a spot that looks like pine tar — a spot that a pitcher touches on certain occasions, and seemingly in a way that’s not exactly natural — isn’t vendetta-type behavior in my book.