Last we checked UV rays aren't strong enough to penetrate a domed roof, which would make it a little bit weird if Clay Buchholz sprayed sunscreen on his left forearm last week up in Toronto. That is, of course, unless he was trying to get a better grip on his pitches.
Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan reported Wednesday that, according to two veteran major leaguers and one source close to the Red Sox, about 90 percent of big-league pitchers use spay-on sunscreen ("almost always BullFrog brand") that mixes with rosin from a rosin bag to give a pitcher an enhanced grip on his pitches.
"Sunscreen and rosin could be used as foundation for houses," one American League pitcher told Passan. "Produces a tack, glue-like substance that engineers would be jealous of."
Buchholz was charged by Toronto broadcasters with doctoring baseballs at Rogers Centre after he threw seven shutout innings to beat the Blue Jays last week. The Jays never accused Buchholz of any wrongdoing, and the umpiring crew at that game never investigated Buchholz for any illegal activity on the mound.
Yahoo! couldn't get a comment out of Buchholz on the subject, but a source close to the Sox said using sunscreen is common among the members of their pitching staff, especially in inclement weather.
It's not illegal for a pitcher to use sunscreen on days that he pitches. Not yet, anyway. That means that it appears, for now at least, it would be hard to punish a pitcher who combines the substance with rosin to gain a competitive edge.
Until that changes, buy stock in BullFrog.