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Dennis Eckersley rips Dirk Hayhurst, Jack Morris for accusing Clay Buchholz of cheating

The NESN studio analyst has thoughts on the accusations against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, and shared them on NESN.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Eckersley has no problem speaking his mind. He's also a former pitcher and a Hall of Famer, so it's not surprising that he would have an opinion on the supposed Clay Buchholz cheating "scandal" that was brought to attention by former pitcher and current radio host and author Dirk Hayhurst. Eckersley also has opinions on Hayhurst, who he essentially big times by wondering why anyone is even paying this "lifetime minor-league pitcher who is watching the video "any attention.

You can see that, and the rest of Eck's thoughts on the matter, in this NESN video from Extra Innings on Thursday. Just so you know, though, Eckersley doesn't just pick on a guy who spent most of his career in the minors -- he also rips into Jack Morris, who is still on the Hall of Fame ballot, and is very much a household name. Morris has "no doubt in his mind" that Buchholz is doctoring the baseball, and as color analyst for Blue Jays radio broadcasts, had a platform to say so on.

Honestly, if Hayhurst and Morris think that Buchholz needs to cheat to get movement on his pitches, then they haven't been watching Clay Buchholz over the years. He's always had the stuff and the movement, he just hasn't always had the same command of it he's shown to start 2013 -- and enhanced command doesn't necessarily paint a picture of a baseball doctored to get more movement on it. Hell, if you look at PITCHf/x numbers, Buchholz actually has less horizontal movement on his two fastballs right now than he has had in his career as a whole.

Back in 2010, he posted a 2.33 ERA to lead the American League, finishing sixth in the Cy Young vote. Since May 16 of 2012, when he regained his change-up grip fully, he has an ERA of 3.00 in 28 starts and 195 innings with what would be a career-best strikeout-to-walk ratio had it occurred within one season. He has a sustained history of posting BABIP well, well below the league average due to inducing consistently weak contact, putting him in some pretty rare company. He's been filthy for a while now, is looking like he's finally come into his own at 28 years old after a stress fracture in his spine interrupted his rise, but no, it's cool Dirk Hayhurst and Jack Morris, he has to be cheating because the Blue Jays couldn't hit him.