“There’s no crying in baseball,” manager Jimmy Duggan (Tom Hanks) tells one of his outfielders in A League of Their Own.
Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus demonstrated, however, that there’s still a good deal of whining. After suffering a loss to the Kansas City Royals on Monday, the Tigers skipper complained that flamboyant pitcher Johnny Cueto cheated with an “illegal” pitching windup.
The newly acquired Cueto threw a 4-0 shutout in his Kansas City home debut to defeat the Tigers. Before being picked up by the Royals, Cueto threw another shutout earlier this year while pitching for the Cincinnati Reds. Monday’s four-hitter was the sixth shutout of his career.
Ausmus accused Cueto of stopping in his windup and groused about it to home plate umpire Joe West. But much to his chagrin, his protestations fell on deaf ears. “Really, the way the rule reads, you’re not supposed to even alter your motion,” Ausmus said. “That’s the way the rule reads. They don’t enforce it. Well, he said if he stops it’s an illegal pitch.”
ESPN reported that Cueto became the first pitcher in more than 30 years to throw a shutout in his home debut with the Royals. “A bunch of us were saying in the eighth inning, ‘Just watch how loud this gets when he goes out for the ninth inning,'” said first baseman Eric Hosmer, who collected two hits and an RBI. “It was really cool to see and fun to be a part of it.”
Using catching coach Pedro Grifol as his interpreter, Cueto explained, “The crowd really gave me an extra boost. This is the most I’ve felt from a crowd; the intensity is by far the most.”
Some argue that the dreadlocked Johnny Cueto may be the most valuable pitcher in the MLB. In July, John Pudner reported at Breitbart Sports that Cueto claimed a “victory” in 31 of his 49 starts in 2014 and the first half of this year. Calculations on each game’s opponent, ballpark, and fielding and relief pitching behind him indicate that the his team would have won 16.36 fewer games (14.64 of 49) if a replacement player took Cueto’s part. This ranked him first in MLB.