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Did Yankees Mariano Rivera spit on the ball?

October 20, 2009 | 11:23 am

You be the judge, though know the commissioner's office has already ruled.

The Times Bill Shaikin reports that a video that was copied and posted widely around the Internet this morning shows Yankees closer Mariano Rivera preparing to face his first batter, Erick Aybar. The video clearly shows Rivera, with his back to home plate, looking quickly in two directions, then looking down and spitting. But did he spit on the ball?

The commissioner's office says no, that the evidence is inconclusive. Baseball officials inspected broadcast sequences and still photography of the episode from Monday's Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Angel Stadium.

"We have found no evidence that Mariano Rivera spit on the ball," spokesman Pat Courtney said.

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-- Debbie Goffa