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Friday, July 10, 2020

MLB Is Trying to Get a Grip on Foreign Substances. What Does That Mean for Pitchers?

No players I surveyed seem to disagree with Bauer’s estimate that 70 percent of pitchers are using foreign substances that are technically disallowed—unless it’s to say that 70 percent seems low. “If they start to crack down on it there will be so many suspensions, unfortunately,” says one MLB pitcher. “We all know the number of players who use it is easily above 70 percent. After the Astros scandal this would just make MLB look even worse, in my opinion.”

Then again, not suspending players involved in the sign-stealing scheme was part of what made the league look so bad. One important purpose of the memo appears to be covering MLB’s ass in the event of a foreign-substance scandal. The last paragraph makes it clear that the clubs are responsible for spreading the word about banned ball-doctoring to the many interested parties on their pitching staffs.

“I used some form of sticky grip every single game of my professional career, and most of my college career as well,” says Jonathan Perrin, a 27-year-old former pitcher who’s able to speak freely about a somewhat taboo topic because he recently retired from baseball to become a full-time investment adviser. Perrin pitched in the Brewers and Royals systems, topping out at Triple-A. “The vast majority of pitchers are using something to help them get a grip on the ball,” he continues. “If you watch just about any game on TV, you’ll see pitchers dabbing their fingers on their forearm or on one of the fingers on their gloves. That’s not a nervous tick, that’s guys going to get a little stick so they can get a better grip for the next pitch. If MLB really wanted to crack down on it, all they would have to do is watch the games, see areas that pitchers are repeatedly going to with their pitching hand in between pitches, and then buzz an umpire to go check that spot. More times than not you’d find something sticky there.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2020 at 09:27 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: foreign substances, wet rag

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   1. Hank Gillette Posted: July 10, 2020 at 06:27 PM (#5962191)
If pitchers almost universally use sticky stuff, maybe they should just face facts and make it legal. They could pick one or two acceptable substances and then crack down on everything else.
   2. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 10, 2020 at 09:58 PM (#5962215)
and leave the rabbit ball in to compensate.
   3. depletion Posted: July 11, 2020 at 12:55 AM (#5962239)
If one was a real slob and an MLB pitcher you could always smear some maple syrup on your uniform, so if they nail you on stickiness you could just claim you spilled some during breakfast and were trying to get it off. The list of sticky substances is pretty long, so they are probably better off looking at the ball with, maybe, some IR spectroscopy tool, to see if there is something on there that is not dirt or grass.
   4. Buck Coats Posted: July 11, 2020 at 01:15 AM (#5962243)
Seems like strictly banning this stuff would be a much easier way of reducing strikeouts than moving the mound back or other proposals...
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 11, 2020 at 01:18 AM (#5962246)
If one was a real slob and an MLB pitcher you could always smear some maple syrup on your uniform, so if they nail you on stickiness you could just claim you spilled some during breakfast and were trying to get it off.
You eat breakfast in your uniform?
   6. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 11, 2020 at 01:20 AM (#5962248)
You eat breakfast in your uniform?


This season?
   7. depletion Posted: July 11, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5962282)
/s
   8. Adam Starblind Posted: July 11, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5962283)
Jonathan Perrin, a 27-year-old former pitcher who’s able to speak freely about a somewhat taboo topic because he recently retired from baseball to become a full-time investment adviser.


That's an interesting post-baseball career. Beats coaching first base at a community college I guess.


If pitchers almost universally use sticky stuff, maybe they should just face facts and make it legal.


Foreign substances are pretty high on the list of "who cares" forms of baseball cheating.

If fact maybe it's a good thing. Maybe some pitcher discovers some innovation that allows him to strike out 400 batters in a season. That would be fun.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5962287)
Maybe some pitcher discovers some innovation that allows him to strike out 400 batters in a season.


That would require him to face approximately 420 batters, so I don't see it happening.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 11, 2020 at 01:02 PM (#5962302)
Cole would have needed roughly an extra K per 3 innings last year.
   11. Adam Starblind Posted: July 11, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5962309)

That would require him to face approximately 420 batters, so I don't see it happening.


I was being hyperbolic, but I'm not sure I follow your point here. Verlander faced about 850 batters last year and retired 670+ of them.
   12. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 11, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5962328)
I think he's making fun of already absurd K rates.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: July 11, 2020 at 04:21 PM (#5962332)
the standard "pitch" - as it were - is that the biggest protestors of enforcement of this rule would be the batters who are facing 90+ mph pitches from 60.5 feet away, because they kinda prefer the pitcher to know where the ball is going.
   14. Buck Coats Posted: July 11, 2020 at 08:21 PM (#5962359)
And yet it's only ever pitching coaches saying that

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