WATCH: Brewers Martin Maldonado tears the cover off the ball, literally

  • David Whitlock

One of the oldest expressions in baseball is “TEAR THE COVER OFF THE BALL!”  The purist might think it originated in the 19th century when baseballs were literally sewn together to play.  More recently, you might invoke memories of The Natural, and Roy Hobbs doing as much in his debut at bat for the New York Knights.  Now, add Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado to the lore, as he somehow compromised the integrity of the ball on a grounder to Pittsburgh Pirates third sacker Pedro Alvarez.  Alvarez did the best he could, but, due to aerodynamic consequences, could not throw it to to first base in time for the out (via


As an aerospace engineer myself, I hope you gain an appreciation for the need for aerodynamic design as evidenced by the lackthereof on that throw.

How interesting might this have been in a no-hitter.  Or playoff game?  Maybe time for a rule change?  Call it the “Martin Maldonado rule”

– David Whitlock

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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