Media

The media reacts to the latest controversy plaguing baseball: Pitchers’ use of illegal substances

 

In the midst of a season in which batting averages are at historic lows, MLB has stepped in and made a change. Starting on Monday, all pitchers will face mandatory checks for foreign substances.

The league is citing Rule 3.01, “No player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper or other foreign substance.” Any and all sticky substances ranging from sunscreen mixed with rosin to spider tack are included, and all infractions lead to a 10-day suspension.

The use of sticky substances to improve grip and control is widespread throughout the league and has been for many years. Many people around the baseball world are excited to see integrity of the game enforced game. Others believe the ruling came at the wrong time.

Among those upset about the timing of this decision is Tyler Glasnow, starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. Glasnow, who says he had used a sunscreen and rosin combination to improve grip, went cold turkey for his June 8th start, using no substances amid discussions of the ruling coming down. Although he had a great start, striking out 11, Glasnow felt extremely sore the next day and was unable to complete his next start. An MRI revealed a partially torn UCL, which Glasnow is blaming on the abrupt timing of the ruling, forcing him to change how he grips the baseball in the middle of the season.

Injuries and erratic control issues could be a concern for MLB, but the priority seems to be evening the playing field for batters. Eliminating the sticky substances will not only improve the integrity of the game, but should boost offensive statistics across the league, which have been lacking.

This will be a hot topic in baseball throughout the season and going forward, as several pitchers have already spoken out against the rule. While the offseason may have been a better time to instill this ruling, pitchers will have to get used to this new reality.

Below is a look at the thoughts of visible media members.

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Gavin Derkatch

Gavin Derkatch is entering his senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is an avid New York sports fan and plans to pursue a career in sports journalism upon graduation in May '22.

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