There’s No Lying in Baseball

“It’s not the act, it’s the coverup.”  If you are a political junkie as I am, you will recognize this post Watergate maxim.  I hate being lied to, even more than most people.  Perhaps it is the same characteristic that caused me to study philosophy.  Every lie kills a little bit of the truth.

My loathing of lying was more intense when I was younger.  Working in a juvenile detention center for seven years will make one hyper conscious of lying, I assure you.  You grow freaking antennae.  I acquired a something of a reputation for being brutal on liars.  When lied to I would, for example, do something like lift a restriction, only to stop the resident at the door going to recreation.  “But you said my restriction was lifted,” the resident would protest.  “I lied,” I would respond, doing my best Schwarznegger in Commando impression.

Worse than a liar is a bad liar, someone who tells you something you know for a fact is not true.  I confronted a resident once for huffing, a charge he vehemently denied with all the earnestness his face could muster.  I couldn’t keep from bursting into laughter.  That face was covered with gold paint.

I’ve learned as I have grown older and hopefully wiser to appreciate the lie more.  A lie reveals more than the truth, in many respects.  First, it reveals that the person will lie, and under what circumstances.  Second, if you know they are lying, it provides an opportunity to study the liar so that you can recognize when they are lying in the future.  Finally, and most significantly, the lie sheds light on what is really going on.  The lie exposes what is called in judicial parlance a “consciousness of guilt”.  People lie for a reason.

It’s not the act, it is the coverup.

What does any of this have to do with baseball?  Shouldn’t have anything.  After all, there’s no lying in baseball.



  1. SomeBallyard


    I remember making that EXACT same argument in Linguistic Philosophy but no one took me seriously.

    To paraphrase Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now (which was the hit philosophical movie of my undergrad years): “the bs piles up so fast around here you gotta have wings to stay above it.”

    Speaking of, be sure and watch for my Hot Dog Vender story this weekend 😉

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