Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, June 04, 2021

SI:  ‘This Should Be the Biggest Scandal in Sports’

From the dugout, players and coaches shake their heads as they listen to pitchers’ deliveries. “You can hear the friction,” says an American League manager. The recently retired pitcher likens it to the sound of ripping off a Band-Aid. A major league team executive says his players have examined foul balls and found the MLB logo torn straight off the leather.

In many clubhouses across the sport, the training room has become the scene of the crime: Pitchers head in there before games to swipe tongue depressors, which they use to apply their sticky stuff to wherever they choose to hide it, then return afterward to grab rubbing alcohol to dissolve the residue. Even that is not always sufficient. One National League journeyman reliever, who says he uses Pelican Grip Dip, a pine tar/rosin blend typically used by hitters to help grip their bats, has been flagged at airport security. ...

As MLB dawdles, and batting averages dwindle, the use of substances has become all but institutionalized. One NL reliever, who says he does not apply anything to the baseball because sticky stuff disrupts the feel of his sinker, says his pitching coach suggested this year that he try it. An AL reliever, who says he uses a mixture of sunscreen and rosin, recalls a spring-training meeting in 2019 in which the team’s pitching coach told the group, “A lot of people around the league are using sticky stuff to make their fastballs have more lift. And if you’re not using it, you should consider it, because you’re kind of behind.” The clubhouse attendants of at least one minor league team, according to a player, stock cans of Tyrus Sticky Grip, another product intended to keep hitters from accidentally flinging their bats, and distribute them to pitchers who ask. The NL reliever who uses Pelican says he played for a team that hired a chemist—away from another club—whose duties include developing sticky stuff.

An SI analysis of Statcast data suggests that one team in particular leads the industry in spin: the defending world champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:58 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: foreign substances

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. DL from MN Posted: June 04, 2021 at 11:11 AM (#6022512)
No, that doesn't even come close to USA Gymnastics as the biggest scandal in sports.
   2. The Duke Posted: June 04, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6022532)
It’s a good article and the deluge of articles like this implies that MLB is okay with people talking about it so they can gin up support to quash it. Shildt coming out and bashing MLB may have been more planned than not. Perhaps Dewitt told him to go blow the lid off because the Exec committee needs a basis for changing the rules.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 04, 2021 at 12:16 PM (#6022534)
No, that doesn't even come close to USA Gymnastics as the biggest scandal in sports.

Apples and oranges. It's certainly causing more widespread damage than the Astros' sign stealing. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens to those strikeout numbers if MLB seriously cracks down on this. (And also adds robo-umps to eliminate those 20" wide strike zones.)
   4. base ball chick Posted: June 04, 2021 at 01:43 PM (#6022544)
there isn't all the Unhappiness about this here kind of TOTALLY against the rulebook cheating (unlike roids) because it doesn't make the ballplayers physically larger and no one hitter is hitting too many Home Runs, which seems to be all that people care about cheating wise

no one would have given a **** about stealing signs if the team who had been caught had been the tigers/orioles/marlins. it wasn't the sign stealing, period, that got people all Up Set (and actually, it wasn't against the rules at the time, just like roids)

MLB won't do nothing about this and i mean seriously do something about this unless it hits them in the pocketbook and they have protected themselves pretty dammm good by the strong effort to turn MLB into just another gambling game. the only way things gonna change is if GOOD hitters with well known names start posting pics from high speed cameras on soc media showing a ball leaving pitcher X's hand dripping with goo. that would be embarrassing, so in the name of publicity and NOT The Game, MLB would be forced to do something about it

if MLB wanted to they could deal with this, but so far it do not appear they do. and trevor bauer doesn't have enough followers AND he has not explained how he managed to gain 500 RPM on his FB without gunking up the ball, just a year after denouncing everybody else who gained spin

all these Ks are seriously beyond B O R I N G. i'd rather watch 12 grounders to short than 12 Ks by 4-5 pitchers/8-9 Innings/team. it was different BITGOD when you had RJ or pedro King over 10 hitters/game because they were the exception and not the rule
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 01:54 PM (#6022548)

MLB won't do nothing about this and i mean seriously do something about this unless it hits them in the pocketbook


I mean, people are complaining about how boring the game has turned, which will in turn lead to lower TV ratings and attendance.
   6. base ball chick Posted: June 04, 2021 at 02:34 PM (#6022554)
i don't know exactly how much that really affects income. i remember there was a couple years in the mid teens where the astros had a zero on the tv ratings and they still made $$$. almost all the expensive seats in the stadium are bought by corporations for tax stuff and those are season tix whether or not anyone is in them does not matter. the marlins and rays play to almost empty stadiums and THEY make money

i never believe ANYTHING owners or MLB says about income because they are all total liars and can be trusted about as much as a starving Dog with a plate of delicious burger in front of her

people have been complaining more and more about how boring the game is. and fewer and fewer younger people are into baseball, period - i mean the game, not the gambling (i mean except the rich White boys who are all in the travel team stuff). look at hardcore fans like me. 10 years ago, i could recognise pretty much all the names on ever ML roster because i paid a LOT more attention to box scores/stats/games. now, i mean, i can go a couple DAYS without checking. i never thought that could possibly happen unless i was in a coma, but i absolutely HATE the TTO game. only time i am guaranteed to listen to a game is if i am in the car driving during a game - then the radio b on the game, haven't stopped that. i read that the average baseball fan in this country is a 60 year old White male. or was it older. not good. like trevor bauer sez, you gotta grow the game and it's not growing in the country.

i think that there are not real too many serious fans, i mean of the actual GAME, who get season tix and go to the games. i was noticing that the last time i went the year before the scumbag bought the team and hired the GM scumbag. i know it was the cheap seats, but almost no one was actually paying any attention to the game, unless a ball got hit foul or out. it was weird. but maybe that is what teams want - tix from people who are not interested in the actual game itself and kind of think of it like a party or amusement park or something. when i had season tix back in 04, there were a LOT of people in my section in the cheap seats who came to almost every game. but of course, i guess we are not the demographic they want
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6022556)

there isn't all the Unhappiness about this here kind of TOTALLY against the rulebook cheating (unlike roids) because it doesn't make the ballplayers physically larger and no one hitter is hitting too many Home Runs, which seems to be all that people care about cheating wise


I don't know why you want to speak for other people, but I think this is really, really bad. Steroids were worse as their ubiquity meant that players had to choose between their health and their job, something not present here, but that's gilding the lily, or whatever the opposite is (smearing the corpse flower with feces?).

I will confess to a sort of sociological interest in the psychology of cheating, and seeing it spread almost in real time (which we really couldn't see with PEDs, since nobody wanted to admit using them).
   8. John Northey Posted: June 04, 2021 at 03:25 PM (#6022566)
TTO was fun when it was one or two teams (Tigers in the early 90's were that for hitters), a few players here and there (Rob Deer was a famous one per 162 G: 198 K, 81 BB, 32 HR, 65 singles). But now it has taken over the game. MLB average per 162 player games is 162 K, 60 BB, 21 HR, 90 singles so not quite to Rob Deer level but getting closer. Stats via BR (Love the per 162 summary on the bottom of each players summary)

I remember when I got into baseball in the 80's how Jesse Barfield was viewed as K'ing too much - he never K'd more than 150 times in a season, which today would be better than average! The 1993 Tigers were seen as a K all the time team, but only 5 guys K'd 100 times on that team. This is nuts and needs to be addressed somehow.

Figuring out how to cut the spin rate is a step - would lower stitches help? IE: make the ball smoother thus the gunk still helps, but it becomes harder to make it spin period. Would a heavier ball help - harder to throw 100 mph if it is heavier, also harder to hit home runs one would think, and would make stealing bases easier (harder to throw to 2nd as hard if it is heavier). Changes like these would be invisible to fans, but could result in changes that are visible with minimal effort and easy to adjust year to year if needed, or even mid-season.

Should be interesting to see how things work out with the more extreme changes - moving the mound back, bigger bases, etc. But I think the simple changes are the best - fool around with the ball.
   9. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 04, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6022568)
Why is it so hard for this sport to enforce it's rules? This crap was outlawed over 100 years ago.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6022572)
Why is it so hard for this sport to enforce it's rules? This crap was outlawed over 100 years ago.

When you see a business failing to do obvious things to improve itself, you have two possible answers: 1) incompetent management, or 2) corruption; management somehow benefits from the status quo, to the detriment of the overall enterprise.

The 2nd doesn't seem to apply on this specific issue (though I'm sure we'll find some corruption as baseball climbs fully into bed with gambling), so I'll go with MLB being run by people who are not very good at their jobs.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2021 at 04:19 PM (#6022574)
Why is it so hard for this sport to enforce it's rules?
Because management seems to think it has to ask the players’ permission to do so, and the players reflexively oppose anything management wants to try to gain leverage.
   12. The Duke Posted: June 04, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6022582)
You have three umps every day doing nothing. Make them do an Inspection each half inning and with pitching changes.

For those unfamiliar with unions, this is what unions do. Why do you think all these Police officers who have multiple charges against them can still be out on street. Why do construction projects take 500X longer than they should, why are many teachers all over this great nation still not teaching? It’s always been this way - in all three cases you can’t move these jobs offshore.
   13. base ball chick Posted: June 04, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6022583)
Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6022556)

I don't know why you want to speak for other people, but I think this is really, really bad. Steroids were worse as their ubiquity meant that players had to choose between their health and their job, something not present here


- i'm not trying to speak for you, sorry. i was meaning the lack of outrage from media and fans. i think fan outrage focuses only on Home Runs. in mah not so umble opinyin, there wasn't near the amount of fury over the astros stealing signs as there was over 5 guys who used/were accused of using roids

- i don't see any evidence that ballplayers who used roids hurt their health by using roids. i know they COULD have but, like, who?


Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 04, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6022568)
Why is it so hard for this sport to enforce it's rules? This crap was outlawed over 100 years ago


- MLB refuses to enforce the pitch count RULE in the rule book too. mlb does what it freaking wants to depending on $$$ because they sure don't seem to care about anything else



   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 04, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6022584)
I remain confident that MLB’s lead investigator, Captain Louis Renault, will quickly get to the bottom of this.
   15. base ball chick Posted: June 04, 2021 at 05:24 PM (#6022587)
The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 04, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6022584)
I remain confident that MLB’s lead investigator, Captain Louis Renault, will quickly get to the bottom of this


- yeh. obvious he's been mlb's go to guy

but unions got nothing to do with MLB refusing to tell the umps to enforce the ALREADY written rules in the rule book. there is ZERO MLBPA could do about that except strike and that would be dumb beyond belief. this is not 30 years ago.

and unions got ZERO to say about what mlb does with non-player personnel. you know and i know they could do all KINDS of stuff, but they just WON'T. unless it hits public image too much (like players raping 13 year olds or beating up female companions) or bottom line. bidness as usual

police have gotten away with murder etc for years because grand juries/juries won't convict and because most people think that if a cop did something bad to a suspect, well, they wouldn't have suspected them if they weren't guilty so if they got it they had it coming. only thing that has changed at all has been civilians taking videos and making them public. got nothing to do with a union

as for the teachers, well, there's a Little Problem with the removal of mask mandates. and the teachers must not think they are Expendable Trash like all those poor min wage Icky N-words and Murdering/Raping Messikinz. and the vast majority of parents absolutely refusing to test their kidz for Covid when their kidz get sick, so they don't even know. after all, we got tons more teachers where they come from and home skooling with zoom worked SOOOO well for almost all kidz. so EFF those teachers
   16. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6022601)
I don't see why this is so "difficult" to enforce. As I mentioned the other day:

1. The ballboy gives the umpire a spanking new, rubbed with mud baseball. Umpire inspects and finds no foreign substances or sticky stuff.
2. Umpire throws ball to pitcher or gives to catcher to throw to pitcher.
3. Pitcher pitches ball to catcher.
4. Catcher returns ball to pitcher.
5. Pitcher pitches ball to catcher.
6. Umpire randomly checks ball. Previously unsticky ball is now sticky. But golly, I didn't see the pitcher or catcher apply a sticky substance to the ball.
7. Nevertheless, they are the only two who have touched the ball since the ump put it into play.
8. Umpire ejects pitcher and manager ... maybe the catcher too if he thinks he's the one applying the stuff.

This isn't a court of law, we don't need eyewitnesses or inspections. This ball came clean out of the bag, now it has sticky stuff on it, obviously the pitcher or the catcher put it there.

So yes, we have to assume they don't really want to enforce this or at least not in a zero tolerance way. Maybe they want "some stickiness is necessary for safety and to keep us under 5 HRs a game ... but you guys have taken it too far, please please please stop abusing our willful ignorance" kind of enforcement.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 04, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6022606)
I think it's simple- pretty much every pitcher is using banned substances on the baseball, so if they start cracking down, they'd basiccally have to suspend everyone. They don't want to do that, so they're not bothering to police it at all.
   18. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 08:17 PM (#6022612)
Shildt coming out and bashing MLB may have been more planned than not


Its hard to believe what he said was planned. He said "can I guarantee that our guys aren't cheating? no" And: "am I mad at Joe West? No."

Any of these and other statements he made simply raise more questions. Its hard to believe anybody would have planned on saying something like that. "You're not mad at West? Then who are you mad at? "Are you not aware of what your own pitchers are doing to the ball?"
   19. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:12 PM (#6022619)
I will confess to a sort of sociological interest in the psychology of cheating, and seeing it spread almost in real time (which we really couldn't see with PEDs, since nobody wanted to admit using them).


well OK, but what do you mean in "real time?" this has been going on for a long time.

WHen was that guy on the NYY throw out of the game? That was 7 years ago. Pineda. And even at that time, the conventional wisdom was that this was widespread, its only to get a better grip, batters dont want pitchers throwing wildly, etc.

Not trying to defend some of those statements, but only to pt. out that the battlelines had already been drawn many years ago. So how long have they been just using this stuff in plain site?
   20. The Duke Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6022621)
Shildt wasn’t mad at west. He was mad at MLB for just deciding to enforce something on a whim. There’s a great video of Darvish digging around into his glove for goop. Gallegos was just using rosin/sunscreen which as Shildt said, is not Frowned Upon and won’t be under new rules. He didn’t say his guys weren’t cheating. He said he hoped they weren’t. The spin rate data for the cardinals would imply that if they are cheating, they are in the lower tier of Cheaters.
   21. The Duke Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:36 PM (#6022622)
Shildt wasn’t mad at west. He was mad at MLB for just deciding to enforce something on a whim. There’s a great video of Darvish digging around into his glove for goop. That’s what Shildt is mad about. Gallegos was just using rosin/sunscreen which as Shildt said, is not Frowned Upon and won’t be under new rules. He didn’t say his guys weren’t cheating. He said he hoped they weren’t. The spin rate data for the cardinals would imply that if they are cheating, they are in the lower tier of Cheaters.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:08 PM (#6022637)
cheating is cheating, if the league decides to enforce the rules, there is somebody it's going to be enforced against, it doesn't matter if it's a dirty secret that everybody cheats.... if the league decides to enforce the rules, somebody is going to be caught.

The issue is whether the league is willing to go forward and continue to enforce the rules after this point. That is the main issue... Everyone knows everyone is cheating, but to stop it you have to start sometime enforcing the rule... I don't care that it's my team that got the first hit, what I care is that they continue to get more interested in enforcing the rules... If you don't then it seems selective.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:31 PM (#6022646)
wrong thread

   24. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:47 PM (#6022656)

Shildt wasn’t mad at west. He was mad at MLB for just deciding to enforce something on a whim


I dont understand. Was it Manfred sending a memo on down to suddenly enforce this rule? I thought the incident was brought on by the umpire crew? So what are you/Shildt talking about?
   25. The Duke Posted: June 04, 2021 at 11:41 PM (#6022685)
The league has said all the data collection was not about enforcement. Shildt is mad they just picked Gallegos out of a lineup with no warning that the rules have changed. He just wants the playing field to be fair. And you havent seen any umps doing anything since then so why pick on Gallegos and then do nothing for a week

I’m happy for them to go after Gallegos if they go after everyone else
   26. Hank Gillette Posted: June 05, 2021 at 12:17 AM (#6022695)
8. Umpire ejects pitcher and manager ... maybe the catcher too if he thinks he's the one applying the stuff.


Ejecting the catcher would fix things pretty quickly, I think, since most teams only carry two catchers.
   27. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 05, 2021 at 01:02 AM (#6022698)
Shildt is mad they just picked Gallegos out of a lineup with no warning that the rules have changed.


He didnt say that. Not literally anyhow. One can listen to it that way, but why doesnt Shildt just go out and say that?

I listened to his press conference again and nowhere does he say that's what his problem is. when he gets down to what is bothering him he says:

" why do I take exception?"

"Because this is baseball's dirty little secret and its the wrong time and wrong arena to expose it."

LIke who is Shildt to determine this. [actually this part does sound like it was planned, because at the start he was patiently taking questions about the game itself and you know he has something he's getting ready to say]

THen he says: "This is Geo's hat, he wears the same hat every day. Hats get dirty its a day game...etc. etc. Did he have sunscreen to maybe help stop melanoma maybe? Does he use rosin? Maybe.."


OK so Shildt is kind of clumsy with his words. He also comes across as polite, and soft spoken, and sincere, and quite knowledgeable about what is going on. So I'm not trying to rag on Shildt other than he doesnt really say what you say he does.

Its like Shildt is dancing around it but he doesnt just want to come out and say that. Why doesnt he just say: "they should just say no rosin or no sunscreen or whatever." I dont get why he doesnt just say that instead of going through this litany of silly stuff.

He goes on about integrity and why dont we give credit to the guys who are doing it right? Why is he doing that? We dont go around cheering on the guys who didnt take steroids, we complain that PED usage was not regulated/enforced. Right? His statements there sound so dumb. And he's not dumb.


   28. bookbook Posted: June 05, 2021 at 02:19 AM (#6022703)
The NFL’s use of “race-norming” on cognitive tests to deny black ex-players compensation from the $1 billion fund is so much larger a scandal.

The NFL is either broken or pure evil.
   29. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 05, 2021 at 06:23 AM (#6022708)
- i don't see any evidence that ballplayers who used roids hurt their health by using roids. i know they COULD have but, like, who?


Effects of Anabolic Steroids



well OK, but what do you mean in "real time?" this has been going on for a long time.

WHen was that guy on the NYY throw out of the game? That was 7 years ago. Pineda.


Maybe I'm just an old fart, but 7 years is not a long time. It's a blink of an eye.
   30. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 05, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6022712)

Maybe I'm just an old fart, but 7 years is not a long time. It's a blink of an eye.


yeah. I actually thought about how to word that. The pt. is 7 years ago this stuff was commonplace. Right? It was already a worst kept secret. So how long has it actually been widespread? 20 years ? 40 years? forever?
   31. bfan Posted: June 05, 2021 at 09:47 AM (#6022715)
I think it's simple- pretty much every pitcher is using banned substances on the baseball, so if they start cracking down, they'd basiccally have to suspend everyone. They don't want to do that, so they're not bothering to police it at all.


Aren't there a myriad of penalties short of suspension that could be tried? How about for starters, if an ump finds a too sticky ball in a game, the current batter gets a ball added to the count. Not big, but not inconsequential, either. The next time it happens for that same team, it is 2 balls for the batter. (I would stop it there, but there is a logical next number for those so inclined). The ball itself is seized and put in bag and if a team wants to challenge it, they will have the results in a few days and we will begin to get an understanding of substances used and how they are applied. I would bet there are sprays that will detect those substances right away as well (like luminal, for blood).

Make the cost of doing that just not worth it for pitchers and teams. Of course, every starter will do it, until you get violation #1, so 1st innings will have heavy checking.
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 05, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6022717)
WHen was that guy on the NYY throw out of the game? That was 7 years ago. Pineda. And even at that time, the conventional wisdom was that this was widespread, its only to get a better grip, batters dont want pitchers throwing wildly, etc

Pineda was caught in a game where the temperature was 53 degrees, and the wind was 24 MPH. That's one of the reasons his excuse seemed somewhat plausible at the time.
   33. TomH Posted: June 05, 2021 at 10:09 AM (#6022718)
wrong thread
   34. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 05, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6022723)
The NFL is either broken or pure evil.

Why not both?
   35. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 05, 2021 at 11:58 AM (#6022725)
Pineda was caught in a game where the temperature was 53 degrees, and the wind was 24 MPH. That's one of the reasons his excuse seemed somewhat plausible at the time.


The pt. wasnt really whether Pineda was OK or not. It's what the level of understanding was at that time. And at that time, the thing I heard was that everyone was more or less doing it, but that Pineda was blatant about putting it on his neck. He should have been more discreet.

And also the temperature too so yeah.
   36. KronicFatigue Posted: June 05, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6022733)
If everyone is breaking a rule, then nobody is, because it's not a rule. The problem with selectively enforcing is obvious, the problem with enforcing without notice is that it unfairly labels the first one caught as a "rule breaker". We all remember Pineda as "cheating".

Send a memo out before a season starts. "We've become aware that x is happening, and we're going to do y to enforce it and the punishment will be z. No seriously, we actually care now.".
   37. The Duke Posted: June 05, 2021 at 05:38 PM (#6022756)
Shildt verbatim

Following the game, Shildt took issue not with his ejection, but with baseball's inconsistent policing of what he views as the game's "dirty little secret."
"There are people that are effectively—and not even trying to hide it—essentially flipping the bird at the league, with how they're cheating in this game with concocted substances," Shildt said, per Katie Woo of The Athletic.
"You want to police some sunscreen and rosin? Go ahead," Shildt said. "Get every single person in this league. ... Why don't you start with the guys that are cheating with some stuff that's really impacting the game?"

There are players that are obviously doing it, going to their glove. There’s clear video of it. You can tell the pitchers are doing it because they don’t want to go to their mouth.

"How many guys that are pitching their tails off in MLB that are doing it clean, and have an unfair competitive advantage for the guys who are clearly loading up concoctions that they actually advertise, don't do anything to hide in plain view?" Shildt said, according to Woo. "That's who I'm sticking up for."

   38. TomH Posted: June 05, 2021 at 06:23 PM (#6022760)
IOW, "Don't pull my kid over for doing 60 in a 50 zone when most others were doing 70"
   39. Perry Posted: June 05, 2021 at 07:37 PM (#6022772)
yeah. I actually thought about how to word that. The pt. is 7 years ago this stuff was commonplace. Right? It was already a worst kept secret. So how long has it actually been widespread? 20 years ? 40 years? forever?


Kenny Rogers got busted with (probably) pine tar on his hand in the 2006 World Series, and La Russa soft-pedaled it as much as he could, presumably because his guys used it too, if not as flagrantly.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 05, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6022803)
I guess the league is now going to enact a policy of checking for foreign substances mostly when pitchers leave the game and randomly. I think that is how I read the latest headlines.
   41. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 06, 2021 at 06:27 AM (#6022814)
The pt. is 7 years ago this stuff was commonplace. Right?


Depends on how you define 'commonplace'. My subjective impression is that 7 years ago around 5-10% of players were using it, it's now like 70-80%. That may be based on media coverage, though.
   42. Moeball Posted: June 06, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6022831)
I met Gaylord Perry a couple of times several years ago and was amused by his stories. He openly admitted to throwing greaseballs but said it didn't happen nearly as often as hitters claimed. He said half the fun was psyching the batter out when he's looking for a wet one that would typically dive at the last moment but ends up taking a straight fastball at the knees for a called strike three. Said the times he didn't use substances when the batters were looking for it just amped up the psychological battle between pitcher and hitter. But he got inspected by umpires many times and never got caught with anything until his final season, which he admitted was a clue that maybe it was time to hang it up and call it a career.

Don Drysdale joked about how one time he was accused of throwing with a little extra help and an ump came out to the mound and ordered him to take his hat off. Then the ump supposedly ran his fingers through Don's hair looking for evidence of illegal stuff and Don said "so what's next? You gonna kiss me now?" This was not well received by the ump.

Which is why I like the idea of tossing the catcher.

Historically, everyone focuses on the pitcher, but, given the number of times pitchers have been searched and nothing found, maybe it's not the pitchers who are doing all the doctoring of the balls.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 06, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6022843)
Historically, everyone focuses on the pitcher, but, given the number of times pitchers have been searched and nothing found, maybe it's not the pitchers who are doing all the doctoring of the balls.

The stories are that Berra used to scuff balls for Whitey Ford, by rubbing them on a sharp spot on his catching gear.
   44. Ron J Posted: June 06, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6022854)
#43 Actually I think you'll find that story is told of Elston Howard.

Doesn't mean Berra didn't do it. Or hell, Bill Dickey before him.
   45. DL from MN Posted: June 07, 2021 at 10:37 AM (#6022953)
From the article:
the new ball, which is about 1% lighter than the old one, is spinning faster, making it harder to hit


Let's try a ball that is 5% heavier.
   46. Jay Seaver Posted: June 07, 2021 at 11:32 AM (#6022961)
Jerry Remy tells stories on the Red Sox broadcasts about how, when he was with the Angels, he had a sharpened belt buckle and would rub scuff them up while they were thrown around the infield between batters.
   47. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2021 at 05:48 PM (#6023037)
Preacher Roe said that Pee Wee Reese and Billy Cox helped to lubricate his spitballs. His preferred lubricant was a stick of Beech-Nut gum.
   48. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 07, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6023039)
I'm expecting a lot of outrage from batters because theres gonna be a pandemic of HBPs cause pitchers can't control the ball without sunscreen and vagisil.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6023041)
can't control the ball without sunscreen and vagisil.

now, now, let's keep the focus on baseball chatter here...
   50. Buck Coats Posted: June 07, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6023042)
Well it must not be doing a great job cause as it is HBPs are at a record high...

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Rough Carrigan
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogCollege baseball pitcher Sang Ho Baek dies after complications from Tommy John surgery
(19 - 1:17am, Jun 22)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogSo no one told you OMNICHATTER! was going to be this way, for June 21, 2021
(27 - 12:26am, Jun 22)
Last: Howie Menckel

Sox TherapyAnd Breathe
(28 - 11:34pm, Jun 21)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogNBA 2021 Playoffs+ thread
(1856 - 11:03pm, Jun 21)
Last: Dandy Little Glove Man

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - In Which Euro 2020 Is Played in 2021
(248 - 10:51pm, Jun 21)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogBaseball Reference Adds Negro Leagues Statistics, Rewriting Its Record Book
(162 - 10:32pm, Jun 21)
Last: sunday silence (again)

NewsblogRays call up top prospect Wander Franco
(6 - 9:07pm, Jun 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(13254 - 8:48pm, Jun 21)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogThe story of honoring Negro League history and a search for buried treasure
(1 - 8:31pm, Jun 21)
Last: Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc

NewsblogJuneteenth Weekend OMNICHATTER, for June 18-20, 2021
(137 - 1:08pm, Jun 21)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogI Am Breaking My Silence About the Baseball Player Who Raped Me
(2 - 7:15am, Jun 21)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogThe Padres Need a First Base Upgrade
(2 - 5:25pm, Jun 20)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (June-August 2021)
(3 - 2:46pm, Jun 20)
Last: Ben Broussard Ramjet

NewsblogHow baseball’s response to RFK’s death inspired some players to fight back and sit out
(1 - 8:45am, Jun 20)
Last: willow19

NewsblogFrom the spitball to Spider Tack: A brief history of foreign substance use by pitchers in baseball
(2 - 12:46am, Jun 20)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

Page rendered in 0.5372 seconds
48 querie(s) executed