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Watch Marlins Pitcher Alex Sanabia Spit Directly Onto Baseball (Yes, That’s Illegal)

May 21, 2013, 8:30 AM EDT


Miami Marlins pitcher Alex Sanabia can be seen spitting directly onto a baseball immediately following the home run he gave up to Phillies outfielder Dom Brown in last night’s contest down in Florida. You can watch the highlight of Brown’s home run over at and very clearly see the spitting happen at about the 15-second mark.

The spitball has been illegal in baseball for almost a century.

Crashburn Alley’s Bill Baer who also has a GIF of the spitting tracked down the MLB rule to 8.02 (a)(2) which reads:

The pitcher shall not –


(2) expectorate [spit] on the ball, either hand or his glove;

Yeah, that’s not legal.

The lowly Marlins not only spit on the ball last night but they also spit in the faces of Phillies fans by winning the game 5-1. Ugh.

  1. Neil - May 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Something tells me that opposing pitchers that spit on the ball is the least of the Phillies’ offensive woes. They just plain stink when they step to the plate.

    The funny thing too is we’re seeing production out of guys like Kratz, Galvis, even Nix during the month of April. These are guys that are coming off your bench or playing the one-off game. Where’s Rollins, or Utley or Howard or Ruiz on a nightly basis? And this is with two (not one) hitting coaches who report to a manager who’s known throughout the land (and in Japan) as a hitting coach.

  2. BAPS - May 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Here’s my issue…

    According to those rules, every time Cliffy boy licks his fingers, which is his own excuse for the dark spot on the brim of his hat, he is in violation of the rule. How many pitchers lick their finger tips?

    • Kevin - May 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Yes Cliff licks his fingers, but he also goes to his pants to wipe it off before touching the ball.. 100% legal.. A why are we discussing this issue about the Marlins pitcher spitting on the ball.. It was a brand new ball (cause the other ball was just hit out of the park) and he spit on it and rubbed it in.. Very few pitchers spit on a new ball like this but once again 100% legal..

      • willh888 - May 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        New ball, old ball, medium aged ball, you just can’t spit on it. He spit directly on the ball. I can’t think of a worse violation other than a nail file or vaseline

  3. kevin - May 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    yes you can do what he did.. he rubbed it in.. how do you think they get all them balls ready for a game… its the same as when you you the pitcher get a new ball and they wipe the sweat from their brow and use that to rub the ball in.. no different then spitting on it.. liquid substance is a liquid substance..

    • no - May 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      Are you trolling or just stupid? You can’t spit on the ball. Ever. For any reason. End of story. Stop digging deeper.

      I agree with Neil this is the least of the Phils’ problems….

    • willh888 - May 21, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      so basically I could spit on a ball and pretend to rub it in. That’s just not how it works.


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