— Larry Brown (@LBSports) August 22, 2015
HOUSTON — The above image of Mike Fiers‘ glove, shown on TV during his no-hitter Friday, had people buzzing Saturday. The buzz was coming more from fans than the players who took part in the Dodgers’ 3-0 loss.
“I had no idea during the game,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Nobody said anything to us during the game.”
The close-up image was snapped during the ninth inning and didn’t achieve virality until later in the night, once some of the players had packed up and left the ballpark.
“I think there’s times you think that guys” use a foreign substance on the mound, Mattingly said. “You see how they kind of do it.”
Last night wasn’t one of those times, Mattingly said.
“I think it’s pretty much accepted unless it’s blatantly obvious that somebody’s doing” something illegal, he added. “I think it sounds like you’re whining if you look at it, talk about it.”
Dodgers players weren’t in a mood to discuss the incident, and seemed more upset about their hitting than anything Fiers might have been hiding in his glove.
As for Fiers, he was in no mood to admit using a foreign substance. Rule 8.02(a)(4) clearly states “The pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.” In the past two years alone, such violations have resulted in suspensions of six, eight and 10 games.
“I mean you can try to pick out a lot of things through a lot of games,” Fiers said. “I don’t know what they are talking about. It could be a different lighting or camera angle or a lot of things. I don’t know.”
Astros manager A.J. Hinch effectively sided with Mattingly in not wanting to say anything to diminish Fiers’ accomplishment. It was the first no-hitter thrown by an individual pitcher against the Dodgers since Kent Mercker in 1994.
“It’s been brought to my attention, so I didn’t know anything about it until today,” Hinch said. “Like anything, until there’s real evidence instead of conspiracy I think it’s difficult. Last night was about Mike Fiers being a really good major league pitcher and he had a great accomplishment. Anything that takes away from that is unfortunate unless there’s this massive proof with either the umpire or the other team or the situation arises.
“It’s unfortunate that it becomes a topic, but nowadays teams are covered at such an extreme level.”