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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Mud Maker: The Man Behind MLB’s Essential Secret Sauce

The business is small and fundamentally unglamorous. Bintliff harvests the mud himself, using only a shovel and a few buckets, as he has for his entire adult life. The 62-year-old has recently begun bringing a trusted assistant to help him carry the load, but other than that, the process is the same as it has always been. After he collects the mud, he hauls it back to his yard in southern New Jersey, where it sits until he’s ready to pack it up in his garage and ship it out to teams. His wife, Joanne, takes orders and does invoicing. That’s it. There’s no one and nothing else to the operation. It’s increasingly out of place in a hyper-controlled, ultra-competitive, high-tech league, where every detail is calibrated for peak efficiency.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that MLB has recently tried to eliminate Bintliff, teaming with Rawlings to develop a ball that doesn’t need to be enhanced by mud. But baseball is realizing that it isn’t so easy to replace him, and, in fact, it might not be possible at all.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 12:53 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mud

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   1. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:05 PM (#5869388)
Trying to eliminate a guy in South Jersey who deals in mud does not sound like a wise idea.
   2. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:34 PM (#5869409)
That's funny. Of course I read this with my risk management hat on. What's this guys business continuity plan. What's MLB going to do? We would never approve a vendor like this. Then again in the public securities business we don't need mud.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 08, 2019 at 12:06 AM (#5869413)
there is always - always - a Jersey angle.
   4. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 08, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5869512)
I don't know what MLB is paying this guy for mud, but (1) it can't be much, and (2) whatever it is, it's worth it for the occasional article about how MLB buys mud from this guy in Jersey.
   5. base ball chick Posted: August 08, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5869527)
why does it not surprise me that mLB is trying to get out of paying some poor guy 12K a year
   6. bobm Posted: August 08, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5869558)
   7. The Run Fairy Posted: August 08, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5869569)
I don't know what MLB is paying this guy for mud, but (1) it can't be much, and (2) whatever it is, it's worth it for the occasional article about how MLB buys mud from this guy in Jersey.


FTA it's $100 a bucket and 4 buckets will last a team the entire year.
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 08, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5869580)


why does it not surprise me that mLB is trying to get out of paying some poor guy 12K a year


I wonder how much they've spent trying to find an alternative.
   9. SandyRiver Posted: August 08, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5869616)
Trying to eliminate a guy in South Jersey who deals in mud does not sound like a wise idea.

Seems more appropriate for the other end of the state, like the Meadowlands.

And I doubt the $12K is driving MLB's search. How much time is spent rubbing up 240,000 baseballs?

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