Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Trevor Bauer Says ‘70 Percent’ of MLB Pitchers Illegally Use Pine Tar

On an appearance of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher Trevor Bauer, one of the most outspoken athletes in all of sports, said ’70 percent’ of MLB pitchers illegal use pine tar on their fingers while pitching in games.

Bauer famously called out Houston Astros pitchers during the 2018 season long before their sign-stealing scandal broke, when Bauer pointed that every Astros starter was having a career year. That itself wouldn’t have been the biggest anomaly ever, but Bauer also pointed to the fact that every Houston pitcher was also seeing absurdly career-highs in the spin rates of their pitches, which Bauer said was completely linked to pine tar usage.

Pine tar is illegal for pitchers to use for its obvious advantages on gripping the baseball. Bauer says the biggest red flag of a pitcher using pine tar is not the change in velocity, but the increase in spin rate, and said it’s not physically possible to just add a couple hundred RPMs to your fastball without artificial assistance.

Bauer said pitchers find pretty simple ways to carry the foreign substance out onto the field, which batters can legally use for better grip on the bat. He said pitchers simply lather their gloves, belts, and hats with the sticky syrup, and even include the touching of the specific points of adhesion in their pre wind-up and delivery.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 06:37 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: illegal 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. The_Ex Posted: February 26, 2020 at 07:29 PM (#5926670)
Yes, but....

Allegedly everyone knows this, the balls are too slippy and the pitchers need the pine tar and the hitters are happy to know that the ball wont accidentally be coming right at them because the ball is too slippy.

There was a story last year that MLB were testing a more tacky baseball that would eliminate the need for pine tar or another substance.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 07:49 PM (#5926671)
Doesn't it still affect spin and how the ball reacts though? Seems like a bit of an unfair advantage and may have something to do with the rise in strikeouts.
   3. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 26, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5926672)
So if the Nationals are on this list do we strip their title?
   4. Baldrick Posted: February 26, 2020 at 07:59 PM (#5926673)
No, no, I've been assured that everyone is baseball is a stickler for following the rules and absolutely hates cheaters.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: February 26, 2020 at 09:18 PM (#5926677)
No, no, I've been assured that everyone is baseball is a stickler for following the rules and absolutely hates cheaters.

No, it's violations of memoranda that really get them worked up.
   6. Astroenteritis Posted: February 26, 2020 at 10:41 PM (#5926686)
So if the Nationals are on this list do we strip their title?


Pay attention, people. The Astros are the only cheating team in MLB. Don't corrupt the narrative.
   7. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: February 26, 2020 at 10:53 PM (#5926687)
   8. QLE Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:34 AM (#5926697)
   9. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:41 AM (#5926698)
Well, if Bauer's right, this plus the three-batter rule and they might get what they really want this year: the single-season home run record broken. Maybe Chris Davis can hit 74 home runs with a .150 batting average and put an end to this silliness.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:56 AM (#5926702)
That will require a minimum of 493 AB (doable) with just 419 strikeouts (seems optimistic for Davis).
   11. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: February 27, 2020 at 07:56 AM (#5926719)
Sounds like sour grapes since Bauer got caught with the old "blood on the baseball from playing with my drone before the most important game of my career" trick.

There was nothing stopping managers of opposing teams asking the umpires to inspect the pitcher's hands, belt, glove, hat, etc. if they suspected the ball was being doctored.
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:44 AM (#5926737)
Pay attention, people. The Astros are the only cheating team in MLB. Don't corrupt the narrative.


From the article: "Bauer famously called out Houston Astros pitchers during the 2018 season long before their sign-stealing scandal broke, when Bauer pointed that every Astros starter was having a career year. That itself wouldn’t have been the biggest anomaly ever, but Bauer also pointed to the fact that every Houston pitcher was also seeing absurdly career-highs in the spin rates of their pitches, which Bauer said was completely linked to pine tar usage."

They may not be the only ones who cheat, but they're by far the most systematic, aggressive, and blatant about it.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:45 AM (#5926739)
On this note, there are now claims that MLB will be cracking down on using foreign substances on the ball


Only good old American pine tar from here on out!
   14. Astroenteritis Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:56 AM (#5926748)
Bauer famously called out Houston Astros pitchers during the 2018 season


And I give only slightly more credence to Trevor Bauer, who appears to be a human axe looking for a place to grind, than some anonymous twitter idiot going on about buzzers.
   15. TJ Posted: February 27, 2020 at 10:28 AM (#5926759)
I wonder how Mike Fiers feels about this?
   16. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 27, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5926777)
On this note, there are now claims that MLB will be cracking down on using foreign substances on the ball


MLB has been making noise about this pretty much every winter since 1920.

Bauer is probably wrong about this, only because I don't imagine many pitchers actually used pine tar. As Dirk Hayhurst described in one of his books, all you need is to mix sunscreen with resin and you get a substance that (quoting Dirk) "can make the ball hang off your fingertips".

Besides just deadening the ball a little, one change that will never happen because of the MLBPA but I wish would is: flatten the seams on the ball a good bit. You can't make pitchers throw less hard, but you can make the ball move less.
   17. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5926856)
Bauer also experimented with pine tar during a game allegedly.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 27, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5926875)
On this note, there are now claims that MLB will be cracking down on using foreign substances on the ball

MLB has been making noise about this pretty much every winter since 1920.

but THIS time they mean it--yeah, suurrre

from the article:
Over the years a gentlemen’s agreement has evolved throughout MLB in which teams don’t challenge each other about sticky substances that pitchers deploy — such as pine tar or thick sunscreens — because so many pitchers are using something beyond the legal rosin bag.


and:
However, the analytics revolution has brought increased awareness of the benefit of spin on velocity and movement, and tacky substances bring the fringe benefit of making it easier to increase revolutions per minute on the ball. To try to combat this, MLB wants Rule 6.02 enforced. This is beginning with Young’s tour of camps in which he is meeting with GMs and managers about a variety of rules, but emphasizing that he expects them to enforce Rule 6.02. This is scheduled to be followed by a memorandum sent to each organization before the season focusing on Rule 6.02.


I guess I'll believe it when I see it
   19. A triple short of the cycle Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:54 PM (#5926965)
MLB will be cracking down on using foreign substances on the ball


Like the covering and the seams? The entire ball is a foreign substance! [rim shot]

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Rough Carrigan
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(1239 - 5:33am, Apr 07)
Last: TomH

NewsblogThis Day in Transaction History: Yankees acquire Bucky Dent
(18 - 5:23am, Apr 07)
Last: MuttsIdolCochrane

NewsblogUS-based pro sports leagues monitoring coronavirus outbreak
(4481 - 5:07am, Apr 07)
Last: Eddo

NewsblogOne reason why a quarantined baseball season could be a big win for MLB
(1 - 2:46am, Apr 07)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread 2020
(2055 - 2:12am, Apr 07)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogHome Run Derby, Anyone? Eight Ideas to Shorten Extra Innings
(1 - 2:07am, Apr 07)
Last: Sweatpants

NewsblogCoronavirus: MLB debating playing games at spring training ballparks without fans, per report
(18 - 1:37am, Apr 07)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogPirates pitcher Steven Brault releases showtunes album ‘A Pitch at Broadway’
(66 - 12:29am, Apr 07)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-6-2020
(11 - 12:10am, Apr 07)
Last: Crispix Attacksel Rios

NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: Which historical game would you want to see?
(69 - 12:04am, Apr 07)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogAl Kaline, Detroit Tigers legend, dies at age 85
(10 - 11:17pm, Apr 06)
Last: Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April 2020)
(6 - 10:57pm, Apr 06)
Last: the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB).

NewsblogSunday Notes: Keston Hiura Can Hit, But The Book He’d Write Would Be Boring
(1 - 8:38pm, Apr 06)
Last: puck

NewsblogThese 10 legends' careers ended with a reunion
(14 - 8:05pm, Apr 06)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogD-Backs Minority Owners Suing Managing Partner Ken Kendrick over Buyouts
(3 - 5:43pm, Apr 06)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

Page rendered in 0.3209 seconds
48 querie(s) executed