So, let's acknowledge this story. In the clip below, popularized by Angels fan blog Halos Heaven, Mariano Rivera is shown spitting in the general direction of a baseball he is holding, in the 10th inning of last night's ALCS game 3. Here's the clip:

The post at Halos Heaven is tremendously unfair and short sighted, unfortunately. Even if Mo comes out today and admits to using a spitball for his entire career, the post would still be unfair and short sighted. While suggesting that "you be the judge," it also calls the clip "pretty conclusive evidence of why Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera is able to throw only one pitch that has unpredictable, yet precise movement." Really? You're ready to throw a man's entire career away because of an 11 second clip where he may or may not have spit on a baseball? This goes beyond team loyalty and into fairness in judgment. This is really a case of treat people as you'd want to be treated. It makes me think of the discussion we had on the "Social Media: The Bad and The Ugly" panel, on which I was a panelist, at Blog World & New Media Expo, which I just returned from.

At it's very best, the clip is inconclusive, and it is just as likely that Mo spit in the direction of the baseball while holding it, as he did actually spit at it. As Big League Stew's 'Duk points out, the white shadow that some people are taking to be spit hitting the baseball, is actually the Majestic logo on Mike Scioscia's jersey.

In our society, we build people up to tear them down. Rivera, revered by players, front office people, fans and press alike, is in a special tier of player. He is a rare blend of performance and success as a human being. Unfortunately, because he has done things the right way, those looking for him doing the wrong thing will look that much harder to find something that could cast him in a bad light and this may be an example of it.

At the end of the day, the only factual thing about this clip is that Mariano Rivera spit in the general direction of the baseball while holding it. Everything, and I mean everything, else is not fact; it's opinion or speculation. It comes down to what you want to believe and how much you want to judge from an inconclusive video clip.

Choose what you want to believe, but be open to people judging you in the same manner.