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Foreign Substances Newsbeat

Sunday, November 21, 2021

MLB trying to get a new grip on baseball

Offense continued its year-long plummet in the early months of 2021. MLB identified a contributing culprit: pitchers using sticky substances such as Spider Tack to increase spin for the purposes of turning the baseball into a Wiffle ball released from a rocket launcher.

In an effort to tilt the playing field back a bit toward hitters, owners voted on June 3 to have umpires actively enforce the ban on foreign substances, with regular policing beginning June 21. The decision had a clear effect.

Meanwhile, scoring rose, from 4.36 runs per game through June 3 to 4.62 runs per game thereafter. While scoring was influenced in part by the warmer weather and fatigue experienced by many pitchers as the season progressed, MLB believes the decision to enforce the ban on foreign substances by having umpires check pitchers’ gloves, hats, and belts achieved its intended effect.

“As we said in June, the prevalent use of foreign substances created an uneven playing field and contributed to a lack of action,” an MLB spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. “After the plans for enforcement became known, the league-wide offensive environment improved by virtually every measure. We believe that the increased enforcement of the existing rules was effective in leveling the playing field and deterring unfair competitive advantages.”

Yet deterrence may have waned. After the All-Star break, players, teams, and coaches often noted behaviors — pitchers wiping their hands on parts of their body that umpires weren’t inspecting, whether through their hair or their thigh or their ear — that raised suspicion.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2021 at 12:03 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: foreign substances

Thursday, September 23, 2021

MLB To Experiment With Pre-Tacked Baseball During Triple-A Final Stretch

Major League Baseball is experimenting with the use of a different, pre-tacked baseball in select Triple-A games during the final days of the minor league season.

MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Morgan Sword told Baseball America on Thursday a “handful” of Triple-A teams will use the new baseball at some point during the final 10 games of the Triple-A season, known as the “Final Stretch.”

“On a very limited basis, we are getting into games a couple of prototype baseballs that (have) a different substance applied to them for grip purposes,” Sword said. “It’s not all the way across Triple-A. We just don’t have enough of them. We’re just finding a couple of teams willing to help us out (and) get them into games. Trying to get some game action for these things before the end of the year.”

Many of the teams involved will use the prototype baseball for only one of their final 10 games, Sword said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2021 at 04:21 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: foreign substances

Friday, August 27, 2021

MLB seeking player input on baseball prototypes that could be long-term sticky stuff fix

Major League Baseball has begun disseminating prototypes of pre-tacked baseballs to solicit player feedback, Yahoo Sports has learned. This represents an early step in potentially developing a new baseball to address concerns from pitchers about grip and consistency.

Rich Hill confirmed that the New York Mets reviewed the prototypes about a week-and-a-half ago. Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers were also shown the balls while playing in New York, and the San Francisco Giants are expected to receive them during their series against the Mets this week as well.

“I think they’re getting there,” Hill said. “They’re working on it, and I know they’re going to come, hopefully, to a good resolution.”

Although the current process is still in the preliminary stages, pre-tacked baseballs — or, balls treated with a substance that gives them a slightly tacky feel for easier grip — have been a source of speculation and investigation for several years now. MLB has been experimenting with sticky baseballs that could be introduced in conjunction with enforcement of its foreign substance ban since at least 2016, when they were game-tested in the Arizona Fall League. The league circulated something similar among major leaguers in spring training 2019. Neither pitchers nor hitters were fans at the time — although that could be reflective of an environment in which pitchers’ use of their own technically illicit sticky substances still went unchecked.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:23 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: foreign substances

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Caleb Smith gets 10-game ban for foreign substance on glove

Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Caleb Smith has been suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball for having a foreign substance on his glove, it was announced Tuesday.

Smith, who was also fined an undisclosed amount, has appealed the penalty, allowing him to play until the appeal is heard.

Smith was ejected in the eighth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 18. His glove was sent to New York for examination.

Smith argued and at one point had to be pulled back by some of the team’s coaches following the ejection.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 04:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: caleb smith, diamondbacks, foreign substances

 

 

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