Title Photo: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press
By now you’ve heard. The MLB has cracked down on foreign substances on the baseball, and has outlawed sticky stuff. But, pitchers, catchers, and even position players are being checked by the umpires, with the pitchers being checked after every inning. Will Tondo covered the broad idea of sticky substances (check it out here), I will cover a lesser-known illegal way to doctor the ball: sunscreen and rosin!
The combination of bullfrog spray-on sunscreen, and some rosin isn’t like spider tack. It gives some control to the pitcher without raising spin rate drastically. The spider tack or the pine tar does. Pitchers can’t grip the ball now, like the Red Sox Garrett Richards, who is now drilling players left and right, and has been rocked his last two starts.
Pete Alonso, the defending Home Run Derby champ said, "Absolutely not... whatever they want to use to control the ball, let them use it."
The Rays ace, Tyler Glasnow, who tore his UCL after a start where he couldn’t use sunscreen and rosin, is not happy about the crackdown.
The A’s reliever Sergio Romo has my favorite reaction to the ump inspections.
Max Scherzer had another good reaction to the umpires checking his body for foreign substances.
Sorry Yankees fans, but Cole is probably taking lessons from his former Astros buddies on how to cheat, because:
So, what should happen?
My personal opinion is to outlaw the following:
Any type of pine tar (stick, rag, etc)
Vaseline (to help move the ball)
Glue (I don’t know why anyone would use this, but someone probably has)
What should be available to use:
The rosin bag
Sunscreen and rosin
I don’t want to see guys getting hit a bunch so I think the MLB should allow sunscreen and rosin for grip, as it doesn’t affect spin rate the way spider tack, and pine tar does.