Did Eckersley Cheat?
I got an interesting email from David today. He's a Tigers fan who lives in St. Louis. He wrote the following.
I am trying to find some historical information from when Toronto and Oakland played each other in the League Championship Series. Specifically – I’m trying to track down some info or newspaper articles from when Dennis Eckersley had a foreign object either in his mouth or that he dropped down his jersey.
I’m in St. Louis and I’m a Tigers fan. I think Kenny Rogers cheated but the point of view of my co-workers revolves around how both the Cardinals and Tony LaRussa are above ‘pushing the envelope’ when it comes to gaining an advantage. I’m not trying to condone what Rogers did I’m just trying to point out that most teams/players/managers have had run-ins like this in the past.
I immediately assumed for some reason he was talking about '92 and wrote him to tell him I have a vivid recollection of that series and I don't recall any controversy about Eckersley cheating. In a follow up email from David, he told me the controversy was during the '89 series. Bob Elliott writes about it here. In the ninth innining of Game 5 of the 1989 ALCS, Cito Gaston asked umpire Rick Reed to check Eckersley's glove. Nothing was found but Gaston claimed he put an emery board down his pants.
The closing remarks in Elliott's column sum it up best. "It's only cheating if you get caught."
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