Umps, keep an eye on that Rockie

Rockies closer Manny Corpas came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth, retired the Phillies in order and that was that.

Or was it?


TBS cameras on Corpas warming up before coming into yesterday's 4-2 Colorado win in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park clearly showed the righthander pour a cup of water or soda on the front of his shirt before leaving the bullpen and then rubbing dirt on the area.

Then, when he went into the game, he appeared to go to that spot before several of his pitches in order to get a better grip on the baseball. Since the Rockies' road jerseys are black, any discoloration on the shirt would have been difficult to detect.

It's illegal for pitchers to apply a foreign substance to the baseball. That became a huge issue last October when television cameras showed Tigers lefthander Kenny Rogers with a noticeable smudge on his pitching hand during Game 1 of the World Series against St. Louis.

The Phillies declined comment.

Crew chief Dale Scott had left the ballpark and was not available for comment.

"I don't know anything about it," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd told the Rocky Mountain News. *

- Paul Hagen