In the aftermath of the Kenny Rogers pinetar story, Bill Madden has this anecdote:
Still, the whole controversy (which, if nothing else, has given this World Series some needed juice) calls to mind an incident in a 1987 game between the Yankees and Angels in Anaheim featuring Tommy John and Don Sutton, both of whom had reputations for occasionally doctoring baseballs. The Yankees were leading, 1-0, when, between halves of the third inning, the WPIX cameras showed Sutton sitting in the Angel dugout taking what appeared to be sandpaper out of his pocket. A few minutes later, then-Yankee manager Lou Piniella got a phone call in the visiting dugout from George Steinbrenner.
"Dammit, Lou, everybody in the ballpark knows Sutton is cheating," Steinbrenner fumed. "The TV cameras caught him red-handed! Why the hell aren't you doing anything about it?"
Piniella replied by asking Steinbrenner what the score was.
"It's 1-0, we're winning," Steinbrenner snapped back. "What's that got to do with anything?"
"What it means, George," Piniella shot back, "is that our guy is cheating better than their guy."
Meanwhile, Sean Horgan has this anecdote:
Buck Showalter tells this story from 1994, when he was managing the Yankees and had current Atlanta Braves closer Bob Wickman on his pitching staff.
"We were playing Cleveland and Dennis Martinez was pitching for them and he was cheating like crazy," Showalter said. "His pitches were sailing this way and that. The game was on national television and even the announcers were talking about how his ball was moving."
In the seventh inning, with the Yankees leading 3-1, the phone rang in the Yankee dugout and trainer Gene Monahan answered it.
"Phone, Buck," Monahan said to the skipper, who turned from intensely watching the game.
"What, I'm trying to manage a game here," Showalter said.
"It's the Boss," Monahan said, referring to Yankee owner George Steinbrenner.
Showalter took the phone. Before he could say a word, Steinbrenner launched into a tirade about how blatantly Martinez was cheating and how dumb Showalter was for not alerting the umpires.
"Mr. Steinbrenner, do you know who's pitching for us?" Showalter asked.
"Yeah, it's Wickman," Steinbrenner said. "What got into him? He's actually pitching better."
"I haven't gone out there because our guy is cheating, too, and he's cheating even better than Martinez," Showalter explained.
So, can someone get Lou Piniella and Buck Showalter in a room together, and tell them to figure out amongst themselves which story is the true one?
Update [2006-10-29 0:5:56 by Adam J. Morris]: -- Went and checked Retrosheet...this is the box score from the game Piniella supposedly described. The details match...it was in Anaheim, between Sutton and John, and the Yanks were up 1-0 in the middle of the third.
I think it is probably the July 31 game...Wickman pitched in both the 5/11 and 7/31 games, but in the 7/31 game, the Yankees were up, 4-0, when Wickman came in (although he gave up a run, a hit and two walks in 2/3 of an IP and had to be pulled for Steve Howe). It was also a Sunday, which fits better with the national televised detail, than the 5/11 game (which was on a Wednesday), particularly since Martinez struggled in that game, and the Yankes were up, 5-3, when Wickman entered that game.