League officials are informing teams this spring that umpires are being encouraged to more diligently monitor pitchers for foreign substances, reports Jayson Stark of the Athletic. It’ll involve more thorough checks on pitchers as part of MLB’s quest to enforce the ban on sticky stuff.
That crackdown came in response to concern among league officials (and some players) that pitchers were using increasingly complex substances to enhance their grip on the baseball. The league’s rationale was that many pitchers had gone beyond the long accepted practice of using substances like rosin to maintain control of the ball and were instead using sticky stuff as a means of artificially enhancing the quality of their arsenals by increasing spin and movement. The crackdown came in response to league concerns about the ever-increasing rise of strikeouts in the sport.
The substance checks led to some controversy early on, with pitchers like Tyler Glasnow and Garrett Richards blasting MLB’s decision to implement it midway through the 2021 season. Within a few weeks, however, the focus on those checks generally faded into the background. Umpires continued to inspect every pitcher (some hurlers multiple times within a game) but there were only two ejections for pitchers whom umpires determined violated the foreign substance rule during the 2021 season. There wasn’t a single ejection related to a failed foreign substance check last year, although D-Backs southpaw Madison Bumgarner was thrown out for insulting umpire Dan Bellino during an inspection (an ejection for which Bellino later apologized).
The process came back to the forefront on the national stage last fall when Mets manager Buck Showalter requested umpires examine Padres starter Joe Musgrove during the deciding game of the clubs’ Wild Card Series. Musgrove passed the inspection, remained in the game, and finished with seven scoreless innings to lead San Diego to a clinching win.
While the Musgrove incident ultimately turned out to be inconsequential, the league apparently has concerns that pitchers have found ways around the substance checks in general. Eno Sarris of the Athletic noted last September that league spin rates on four-seam fastballs had risen throughout the 2022 campaign after an initial precipitous decline upon the start of inspections in mid-summer 2021. According to Stark, the league has token note of that trend. MLB had expressed similar concerns about a rise in spin rate last Spring Training, but league officials’ plans to enhance enforcement last season evidently didn’t have the desired effect.
Stark writes that umpires are expected to again examine pitcher equipment like hats and belts, a process they used in 2021 but shied away from last season as they focused more attention on players’ hands. Stark adds that checks of pitchers’ hands — which obviously will also continue — are expected to be more thorough than they had been and that umpires could potentially conduct mid-inning checks if they identify a reason to believe the pitcher could be using a foreign substance.
Whether the tighter enforcement will have any tangible effects on gameplay in 2023 remains to be seen. It comes as part of the league’s ongoing efforts to increase the number of balls in play. MLB is implementing various rule changes (i.e. infield shift limitations, larger bases, a pitch clock) with an eye towards decreasing whiffs and/or accelerating pace of play.
Mad bum was like,
Keep gazing into my eyes as you fondle my hand one more second..
Lol. Bellino is a weirdo
I don’t think he’s weird. That would suggest some sort of uniqueness. I think if anything he’s a loser who thought he was bullying another man and in the end it just made him look like a creep.
Well put. He may be better off running security at a mini mall
I’m just here token note of the typos
Fever Pitch Guy
raisin – You’re token? LOL!
I’m just here because I find the use of the word “foreign” to be xenophobic.
It attaches the connotation that anything foreign, including people, are bad.
Just like we stopped using the term “Disabled List”, we should also stop using the term “Foreign Substances”.
Instead it should be “Unfamiliar Substances” or “External Substances”.
The wizards at MLB should figure out that the reason the strikeout rates are increasing is because of the hitters corkscrewing themselves into the ground trying to hit the ball 700 feet. Because that’s what baseball wants. Just get rid of the pitchers and give the babies tees. Make em happy or they pout.
The substances are likely quite familiar to the ones using them.
I’d go with the tried and true “unauthorized.”
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
“Illegal substances” works for me. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Because baseball rules are not laws.
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
The term “illegal” appears in the Official Baseball Rules 34 times.
The prohibition against doctoring the ball with foreign substances appears under this heading:
“6.02 Pitcher Illegal Action”
The dumbest car repair ads:
We specialize in both foreign and domestic.
All cars are either foreign or domestic, thus the shop does not “specialize” at all.
…and yet you took your car there for repairs.
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
Maybe that’s just to advise extraterrestrials that they can’t get their interstellar vehicles repaired at those shops — although I suppose that technically those would be foreign too. Way foreign.
Or Sticky Bleep?
Are you seriously taking umbrage to the use of the word ‘foreign’?
I saw one website went back and examined Joe Musgrove’s ears for every start in 2022, and none showed anything close to what his ears looked like when pitched against the Mets.
I don’t know what he had on his ears, but considering he said he didn’t have anything at all on them – I’m not buying it. By the time they checked him, the substance didn’t look near as obvious.. but during that second or third inning, it was clear as day.
Found the Mets fan
I nearly put a disclaimer bc I knew it’d sound like a Mets fan, but I’m definitely a diehard Cubs fan.. sadly.. but I did attend Game 6 & 7 of the 2016 World Series 🙂
I was at 1, 4, & 7.
Here is your award.
It’s a hunk of metal, isn’t it?
Why not just go to body cavity searches by forensic science professors?
You Can Put It In The Books .
Depends how attractive these professors are…
I am also a Cubs fan, and while I’m not saying Musgrove was cheating, his ears did look positively unnatural. That was not just regular sweat.
I was going to say, like Mr. Spock? But we all know, Spock never sweats.
Musgrove’s ears looked like a freshly Zamboni-ed ice rink. No idea what was going on there (especially when his spin rates weren’t too far out of the ordinary) but boy did his ears look weird.
His spin rates in that game were right on his season averages. Musgrove was not one of the pitchers you should be accusing of cheating.
I believe it was Jomboy who had a good breakdown about it… and found that Musgrove had touched his ears exactly zero times. He said he was cold, after all it was October in New York… but by all means, carry on with the wild speculation. Haha
steven st croix
Jomboy? The guy how made his name on a lie saying the Astros had buzzers?
I would say he is known much more for his lip reading. Not many people are fixated on the buzzers as much as the trash cans. You need to let it go.
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
If you have a better explanation than the various ones Altuve gave, I’d be glad to hear it.
He did feed the trolls and he did not go out of his way to own the mistake and defend Altuve against the slander and false allegations that still persist.
It’s relevant to consider Jomboy’s credibility as a source of fact given his inaccurate and irresponsible reporting. Or you are a troll, either way, can’t reason with unreasonable.
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
Why did Altuve tell his teammates not to tear his jersey off, after which he ran into the clubhouse and changed his shirt? Was it:
(a) because he’s shy (his jersey was torn off several times before with no apparent shyness on his part);
(b) because his wife didn’t want him seen with his shirt off (he posted multiple shirtless vacation photos on social media);
(c) he wanted to hide a bad tattoo (about that: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb/news/jose-altuves-tattoo-timeline-what-it-looks-like-when-he-got-it-and-why-is-it-hidden/lrr6n6rh1oha1542rfe3rik6c ).
Since you’re all about being reasonable, what’s the reason for his changing story?
If your source is Correa, bear in mind that Manfred’s investigation of the cheating scandal found that Correa’s claim that the cheating stopped before the postseason was false.
“The Astros continued to both utilize the replay review room and the monitor located next to the dugout to decode signs for the remainder of the regular season and throughout the Postseason.”
Manfred is the source, and despite the way he hid the Yankees using live feeds to relay signs using a bullpen phone, he still has more credibility than a Yankee fan burner account.
The tattoo of his daughter is visible on the broadcast and the partial M is in view on his collar bone in a tweet quoted in that clickbait conspiracy article.
Altuve stayed on the field celebrating for 3 or 4 minutes, so the narrative that he rushed off the field is false. Also, everyone changed shirts because they just won the ALCS.
Altuve sat offspeed because Chapman could not locate his fastball. Chapman made a terrible pitch and Altuve crushed it. That’s what legends do.
Altuve’s story never changed because it could be any or all of the reasons you listed. You act like the post game interview was a deposition. It wasn’t.
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
You believe what you want to believe. When a guy gives different reasons instead of one, everyone has a right to doubt his veracity. What prevented him from simply saying he had a bad tattoo the first time he was asked? And, really, what would’ve been so shameful and newsworthy about a bad tattoo of his daughter’s name? That’s what was uppermost in his mind after a series-winning home run in the ALCS?
Maybe Musgrove keeps his silver dollars behind his ears.
Or his Skoal. It’s supposed to be a pinch between your cheek and gum, But maybe he likes a pinch in his ears. Or maybe he has rabbit ears?
Well, the Umps checked for all the above and rubbed his ears like a magic lamp, didn’t find squadoosh… but some posters here would claim he still had something there. Amazing lol
Does that mean pitcher Janson Junk is completely banned?
all in the suit that you wear
How about they enforce using only one type of baseball? This is an eye-opening article if you haven’t read it.
No way, that would be way too simple. I like when they change the baseball to get more action, then have to change it again because there’s too much of one type of action, then change all the rules because there’s not enough action….
And Aaron Boone is an embarrassment. Totally off topic, but it’s my duty to caption every comment with this.
all in the suit that you wear
LOL. Actually, thus is the better, more detailed article to read.
Exactly. Tail wagging the dog. Pitchers should be examining MLB for foreign baseballs.
Allowing the home team to choose one of 9 slightly different balls (ie npb) actually seems less nefarious than the league making unilateral adjustments to enhance the quality of entertainment.
Maybe that’s just me.
Not just you; it evens the playing field (because each team has home games) while actually informing the pitchers and hitters know which baseball is being used. It actually would improve the game, imho, because teams can then adjust their pitching or offense to the specific type of ball (ie, dead ball try for contact/base hits while pitchers smoke FBs through the strike zone).
If they did use different baseballs last year, which seems to be the case, it’s unacceptable. It also devalues Judge’s 62 because many will assign the pumped baseball theory to his stats. Although I think he’s certainly capable of 62 or more, it’s certainly reasonable to think he only got to #62 last season due to the pumped up baseballs.
Baseball continues to embarrass itself while focusing on non-essential things.
Clipper- Pretty soon if Manfred screws around enough, Being a Major league Pitcher will be tantamount to trying to be a Cornerback in the NFL. With enough stupid rules, and lame officials, It’ll be a joke. Here buddy, Throw the ball over the plate, But don’t hit anybody, But you can’t use anything that’ll help you actually hold onto the ball. Now , Go get em.
Nobody cares that Judge hit 62 home runs other than Yankees fans. It’s not some single season MLB record and it’s not like it was back in the 90s when baseball was looking for a story to invigorate the sport after the strike.
It’s a Yankees record, and I guess an “AL” record which was already owned by Yankees players, and thus, even if Judge was playing all year with a composite bat, Yankees fans would still happily find a way to accept the number as fair. I guess I’m just saying, Judge’s legacy is a non-issue and you dilute your argument by including it.
I do agree a single ball is critical. Using different balls, even if random, could severely impact competitive balance. Teams use intricate details about pitches to make roster decisions and game plan. A ball which makes a sinker less effective being used in a game where the starter is a sinkerballer or a dead ball in a game where the opposing lineup creates runs through homers could invalidate the outcome of the game.
Okay Martras, there’s so much wrong with your response, but I’ll just cite two:
1) When you make categorical assumptions about Yankees fans, you actually devalue your argument’s premise, and
2) how does including a record which received national attention, to include other sports interrupting their games to switch to Judge’s ABs, become *only a Yankees fan concern*? That’s either the most naive statement regarding the issue or an intentional lie. The articles that came out about the baseballs cited Judge’s 62 HRs as the case in point in nearly all the articles.
Again, for someone trying to make a point, I’m pretty sure you didn’t make yours correctly. Your last paragraph was written well though.
Judge received national attention because Yankees fans are national. This might be difficult for a Yankees fan to understand, but even though you’re part of a national fanbase, not everybody cares about your team.
“Not everybody cares about your team” is a vastly different statement than “only Yankees fans care about Judge’s 62 HRs.”
Perhaps you didn’t intend to write it like the latter, but your former statement doesn’t negate that non-Yankees fans (national media, former and current baseball players, other sports outlets/fans) across the country had a vested interest.
Again, you’re projecting your personal dislike of the Yankees onto the entire North American sports fanbase. Ironically, this reflects how much you do care about the Yankees & Judge. This, consequently, invalidates your premise. It also doesn’t negate the fact that changing baseballs devalues Judge’s 62 HRs. You’re simply wrong, over and over.
@yc regardless if judge’s 62 was historic or not (personally i think it is because it’s something that doesn’t happen often heck 50 dingers in a season is rare) but what is important and why i think he deserves the contract he got
1. he is the face of the yanks, and seems like a down to earth guy and you don’t hear about him doing dumb stuff or getting into trouble. which isn’t a hard thing to do in big cities especially nyy with so much to do and opportunities to make bad decisions.
2. he dragged nyy across the finish line and into playoffs when the rest of the off. went mia or on vacation. if nyy didn’t have judge last year i don’t think they make the playoffs and finish just above .500
hopefully the line up this year doesn’t pull a vanishing act and go mia leaving judge on an island again. just like i hope o’neil and carlson can find there bats again and stay healthy
anyhow good luck to your yanks this year yc
Thanks, Brodie! I agree with you as usual, man.
I’ll be watching your Cards too. I see Tyler going to be trying CF. He’s got so much talent, man. I could be wrong, but I think he suffers from some of the same issues as Stanton/Judge/Rortvedt in that he’s so muscular it’s a bit easier for him to injure something. Hopefully he comes back strong though because he’s fun to watch.
NL is going to have a lot of tough teams but the Cards are always in it, and they will be again in ‘23. ST starting makes me very happy.
Martras, ALL baseball fans care. The only person who apparently doesn’t care is you and that means you are not a baseball fan.
np yc, as far as ty playing center i really don’t want him to, it’s not that he can’t handle the position it’s like you said it’s because of his mass. tbh i think ty, judge, and stanton would do better with less time in the gym and little more time on the lazy-boy. there already big guys that can hit 420+ feet do you really need to hit the 600 feet.
one thing is sure this year’s season is going to be a fun one a lot of good teams this year
I don’t hate the Yankees. I don’t especially like them, either. I’m pretty neutral towards the club. They’re the Manchester United of baseball.
I feel that the league is willfully ignoring the usage of whatever workarounds are being used. It can’t be that difficult or expensive to give the umpires swabs or test strips akin to what the TSA uses to check passengers’ hands. It doesn’t make sense to me that they actually feel belt and hat checks are the most effective path.
Get a grip, dude. That’s ridiculous. Tell me your politics without telling me your politics.
Not trying to act naïve here, MLB clearly choses how they enforce their polices to affect gameplay. I just don’t understand how their MO would be a testing method that doesn’t seem to be the best. If you’re trying to pretend to enforce something pick a better way, like using test strips that don’t actually work and pretending that they do.
Umpires have a hard enough time calling balls and strikes.
Good point Woods… now let’s give them a clock to watch on every pitch sequence!
Indeed. Anyone who thinks otherwise would need just need to watch a highlight video of Joe West, Angel Hernandez, or Las Diaz. Jomboy, Baseball Doesn’t Exist, and Italk Studios has some great compilations.
It’s one more example of Manfred putting in rules to help the offense. Too much spin rate? Nope, not if it leads to a k. I can’t wait to see what rule he’ll come up with if there are a lot of no-hitter like there was in 2021: If a batter makes an out, he gets to hit again if it was a k. The one good thing about all this is that it will make games longer. take that, Manfred!
Baseball’s dying dude. It’s desperation time. K’s are as exciting to watch as paint drying.
Ks are exciting when good pitchers get Ks. Nolan Ryan isnt boring. Its pitchers who are average racking up Ks like crazy pumping the same 97 MPH fourseam and slider to guys who swing as if every pitch is a yardcard. I love watching guys like Kershaw get Ks on sliders, Burnes paint cutters, Scherzer use his *elite* fastball to get over a bat. Its not the Ks that are the issue its who is getting them at the rate they are being gotten. Its a mold created because of the idea that a homer is the most valuable run producer.
Ryan was the exception back then, because he was unhittable at times. Now it’s just that the players don’t know how to hit. Anybody can rack up k’s. These new stats that deemphasize average make it a joke. I feel that they simply have the stats weighted incorrectly.
Nolan Ryan is pretty much exactly the same as modern pitchers. Throw hard, take a wild guess where the ball is going and don’t ever try to throw strikes. That said, Ryan was an oddity in his time which made him fun to watch.
In my opinion, he’s the single most overrated baseball player of all time. He’s not really the definition of an accumulator since he was certainly better than average across his career, but he was very rarely dominant. He had an ERA+ of 129 or higher in only 4 of his 27 years and finished with an ERA+ of 99 or less 8 times.
Basically, 15% of the time he was dominant, 30% of the time, he was below average, and about 50% of the time he was above average.
Martras, that was the single dumbest comment I have ever seen on this website and that is saying something.
Don’t you just hate it when the stats show up to the debate? To quote the cold, hard truth… “Scoreboard”
No more lotion on the ears Musgrove!
Oh right, was it on his hair ?
Valdez will have 10% variation in spin rate from the innings he knows he will be checked to the next. He is one of the big culprits.
Please. I think you meant to say Gerrit Cole.
I said big culprits, not the biggest.
The problem with increasing strikeouts isn’t sticky stuff on the baseball. It’s the increase of 80° launch angle swings and the philosophical refusal to play small ball.
False. There is no relationship statistically between players’ launch angles and their K rates. There is one between how frequently hitters swing and K rate, so progress could be made by encouraging hitters to swing earlier in the count.
Guy, my comment was hyperbole. The point is that hitters are taught to try to yoke the ball out of the park instead of putting it in play as the game was once played by all. Trying to hit the ball out will result in more strikeouts. Players have been putting stuff on the baseball for over 100 years. They’re only complaining about it now because of the strikeouts caused by gorilla ball.
Totally. Pretty rare to see a guy choke up with 2 strikes to hit a gapper these days. All or nothing.
Ask Joey Gallo.
The Saber-toothed Superfife
Men used to be embarssed to strike out.
But when you all are making that much money…who gives a
It’s the combination of increased pitcher velocity and spin rates.
I thought you wanted shorter games? More offense garners longer games. I don’t get it.
Pitch clock implementation should mitigate that…in theory.
They don’t really want shorter games. They want more action. But ultimately the longer the game is the more commercials you can sell. So they want longer games that are interesting.
If a pitch clock is 15 seconds… When do they get commercial time???
Extra Inning games eh Ghost Runner?
Asked the failing Ballys Sports Networks…
15 second pitch clock could in essence make a game 31.5 minutes long. That would allow 2 and a half hours of commercials time in a game and MLB can stand rave they cut down on the length of games. LOL And look at all the revenue MLB could make to pay those player’s salaries.
More balls in play instead of Ks and BBs means shorter games.
You don’t even want to know where I would hide my foreign substances.
What country are they importing the foreign substances from?
According to the results of many drug tests, I would place money on the Dominican Republic.
Or you could be Fernando Tatis and and be one stupid trip to GNC away from a 162 day suspension.
Not THOSE substances, Web!
Your right, they definitely get them from the methlabs in Tennessee and Montana. I could see your all sum sure proud boys up here. Like Yous some cousins to touch.
Let the pitchers use what they want & let the batters juice if they want.
Let the pitchers use what they want & let the batters juice it up
C Yards Jeff
Amen buffalobob88. All these rules, IMO, are sterilizing the game. Gamesmanship is disappearing. Please let the batters step out of the box to go thru their rituals. Please let the pitchers who very there time in between pitches with strategy in mind continue on, raise the mound bach to pre 12/68. And by all means let the hitters and pitchers try to figure out creative ways to enhance performance.
And let the fans bring all the food and drinks into the stadiums too!
Hey guys, we’re going to speed up the game……..so umpires have more time to fondle the players
How about a rule that all umpires be female, that might add a dimension
And add cheerleaders!!! Like the Astros.
This one belongs to the Reds
Japanese baseball is fun like a high school or college football game. Cheerleaders, lots of noise, megaphones, etc.
We could use that here instead of the funeral atmosphere in a lot of parks.
You do realize the checks happen between innings and takes no time away from the game, right?
Here’s how you shut it down….if you use a foreign substance on the ball you’re suspended for 162 games without pay. Seems fair to me.
The players need to be able to put something sticky on the ball otherwise you’re going to see more hit batters. Guys that can throw it over 100 miles an hour, which there seem to be at least three on each team these days, will kill someone if they can’t use something to help their control.
Maybe, by not throwing EVERY pitch at 100 mph, they would have more control, and be able to pitch more than 5 innings.
Time to be consistent by being inconsistent
I’m sure there’s an emerging market for the robo ump who will undertake the fondling of the under belt areas and the sensual hand massages.
In fact, I’d pay good money to see that. Lengthen the games! Probe the pitchers every inning. Send the Boston dynamics dog to sniff crotches for substances. Have a drone come swab joe musgroves funky ears. Alter one of those arm wrestling arcade games to rub palms.
But make it so anyone can advertise on the substance enforcement bots.
This finger massage has been sponsored by entenmanns donuts.
None of this would matter if we kept the original rules of the batter telling the pitcher where to throw the ball. But, no, baseball has to constantly change rules for no good reason.
sweaty ears musgrove or Vasoline Joe got caught red handed. The problem is Manfred wasn’t going to allow that to bring down the game and made sure the umps kept a blind eye to any of those check shenanigans on the world stage. But in the end I blame Manfred. Just another notch on his belt for destroying this nations pastime.
You probably blame Manfred for your bowling scores.
Manfred would institute that all bowling lanes have the bumpers up permanently to speed up the game.
Satire isn’t dead, but it sure isn’t feeling very well.
Ah look at Manfred continuing to invent busy work for the umpires rather than addressing the sport’s legion of actual problems.
Pitchers cheating and that cheating driving down the number of balls in play and well hit balls IS an actual problem.
Pitchers have been cheating for over 100 years. Players trying to hit the ball out every time they go to the plate is what is driving the offense down. If Tony Gwynn were alive in his prime today, he would still hit 340. Because he’s not trying to jack it into the upper deck every at bat.
Manfred doing the owners’ bidding again! When will it ever end?
I mean, other than never.
Good. The umpires started getting very predictable about when they would do enforcement and only making cursory inspections when they did at all last season. As a result we saw huge swings in spin rate inning to inning and overall those rates keep creeping up.
It seemed like a tangible difference between the pre- and post-Bellino incident… like a noticeable “mea culpa” was exhibited by all crews. I’m probably wrong, but things got pretty Laissez-faire after Mad-Bum swiped left on Bellino.
In my opinion the increase in strikeouts is due to the expanded strike zone all the umpires have, the fact that the statement chicks love the long ball has turned everyone into wannabe home run hitters and there is no player that can bunt in the league anymore, as well as the shift which takes the importance of being a singles hitter anymore. Money Money Money
This one belongs to the Reds
They check the pitchers but they do not check the catchers…
I’m sure the catcher has the sticky stuff smeared on his equipment somewhere, and he’s trying to low key slap some on the ball before throwing it back to the pitcher. They will find a way around it. They always do
For Pete’s sake!
1-If you are going to check the pitcher more often, then there is a need to not allow the opposing manager to ask for a check. Some of this is designed to throw off the pitcher’s rhythm.
2-It might be more effective to have a camera calculate spin rates, and have the ump pull a ball after an unusually high spin. If a pitcher normally has a 2200 spin and throws one 2500, have the ump notified to pull the ball for subsequent analysis. Or give the umpire discretion to pull unusual pitches on his own.
Good stuff man
As we embark on all these major changes; pitch clock, robo ump, all these massive changes kind of starting with MLB openly experimenting with the balls after stat cast blew the floodgates on readily available in depth statistics wide the f open.
As all these changes go down, I am personally in favor of interrupting
/delaying the game as little as humanly
possible. I am weary of the competitive edge that one team or another could obtain from these pauses in the game. Reminds me of something a Billy Martin or Ozzie Guillemot would take serious advantage of; for example. Which is why I like your idea. The umpire can pocket the sticky balls or hand them to the ball boy or whatever, for later analysis. The game continues, no drama, nobody putting anybody else in a bad spot. It’s umpire (MLB)‘s discretion and if they discipline, it is what it is, make a change, move on.
Seems like a very clean way to approach this specific brand of “cheating” or pushing the limits of the rules.
So when a pitcher reels back and puts a little extra on the ball for an important pitch, he should be automatically checked?
I think the proposed rules are fine. The rhythm will work itself out. Managers rarely ask for inspections.
@martras if they are truly going to take this “issue” seriously; then yes. Players not using substances that produce abnormal spin rates will have to endure some ball checkage. The entire point is to collect data; outliers and all.
No repercussions necessary. Do we even need to tell the pitchers that their balls are being checked? Why or why not?
Lots of gray and there won’t be any perfect solution. As I said, my biggest priority is just not messing with the flow of the game and not having constant interruptions. More than every other pro sport, baseball is a game of RYTHYM and TIMING.
For the record, I am ok with the pitch clock, as a “necessary evil.”
You think baseball is more rhythm and timing than, say, a quarterback throwing a football to a receiver? I guess I don’t subscribe to that.
Pitchers like to work in a rhythm. Hitters like to have a rhythm. Both pitcher and hitter influence each other’s rhythms. Also, like I said, managers very rarely ask for an inspection and umpires very rarely inspect mid inning.
The pitch clock is a godsend to fans in attendance. Hate the concept, but love getting home before midnight.
I would argue that baseball is more timing than football, and that’s just on a play to play basis. If you consider a pitch a “play” or a potential play, then literally every play is a competitive dance of timing between the batter and pitcher; and that’s before the ball is put in play and the fielder has to time his approach perfectly.
For the record, the only sport I played in HIGH SCHOOL was basketball. I’ve always thought of basketball and football as games of SPEED; and baseball as a game of TIMING.
Certainly, a worthy topic for debate!
That’ll help speed up games.
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
I’m reminded of what BALCO founder Victor Conte said about PEDs: “only the dumb and the dumber” got caught.
If the data on spin rates is accurate, it seems obvious that the pitchers found ways to doctor the baseballs despite the cursory hand inspections.
Instead of inspecting the pitcher at the end of an inning, maybe the umpire doing the inspections should be the home plate ump, and he should be inspecting the baseballs, not the pitchers.
If a guy strikes out swinging, the ump gets the ball from the catcher and checks it for sticky stuff. That’d take no more time than letting the catcher throw the ball around the horn, as they commonly do after a strikeout. If the pitcher knows the baseball is going to get checked, he might think twice about doctoring it.