During the Dodgers-Brewers series, ESPN had surprising commentary on Walker Buehler.
It’s odd that ESPN decided to put Walker Buehler in their crosshairs for this situation, but despite the outrage it has elicited from the Los Angeles Dodgers fanbase, everyone should calm down, because this is for the greater good.
Buehler, who has been dealing with some nasty blisters, started Game 1 of the Wild Card Series vs the Milwaukee Brewers. Numerous times during his outing, the ESPN broadcast zoomed in on his right hand to show the viewers how serious the issue has been for the right-hander, but it also managed to talk about the “substance” present on that area of his hand.
How many times do we see these pictures or clips surface on social media depicting a pitcher seemingly shadily using a substance on their hand or the brim of their hats, but the broadcast doesn’t bring them up?
Eduardo Perez didn’t accuse Buehler of anything, but he implied that this could be illegal. Those are two very different things. In short, we likely know Buehler was not cheating because the substance was very visible for the umpires to see and MLB didn’t take action after this was made known in the mainstream media.
This was merely an act of journalism and perhaps the start of broadcasts doing a better job of pointing out pitchers breaking the rules. If this continues to happen, the league will have little choice but to investigate because more and more people will have been made aware of the potential infraction via the national spotlight.
So, we can understand Dodgers fans’ initial distaste for Perez’s commentary and ESPN’s inclination to focus on an obvious situation in which Buehler had little choice but to use a substance (likely medicine) to keep his blisters at bay, but given how it was easily spotted in plain sight, it would’ve been journalistic malpractice to not even mention it.
Look at how clear it is that Buehler has something on his hand. Do you think he was able to go out there for four innings without the umps noticing unless they were made aware he needed something to protect him from the blisters acting up again? ESPN has no reason to have an anti-Dodgers bias. Pointing this out and reading the rules is simply journalism. That’s it.
There’s no need to have this distract you from the best team in Major League Baseball looking to make a World Series run, especially because it could have a lasting positive effect on future broadcasts.
Enjoy the ride, Dodgers fans, and ignore the noise in between.