MLB will focus on checking for pitchers using illegal substances for the third straight season. Teams have been informed that umpires will check pitchers for the illustrious “sticky stuff.”
Teams haven’t been told the exact process yet, but we can imagine it will look a lot like it has in the past. Between innings, pitchers would have their hands, gloves, and even their hair examined while making their way back to the dugout.
Seeing an umpire run their hands through a pitcher’s hair is hilarious. It’s become quite the spectacle over the last couple of seasons. No other sport has to do things like this to keep the integrity of the game in check.
Pitchers being able to use some sort of substance to enhance their grip has always been a problem in baseball. Some fans think the league should embrace it and develop a grip enhancement that all pitchers can legally use. It’s no secret how slick MLB baseballs are. Why wouldn’t teams want players throwing 100-plus MPH to have complete control?
“Another way to skew the advantage toward the offense,” one fan tweeted.
“Welp,” said another fan.
MLB fans don’t like seeing the umpire check the pitcher every half-inning. This seems like a step backward for a sport that is trying to speed up the game for its fans.
Other fans believe some pitchers are going to have a tough season with constant illegal substance checks. They don’t think Cleveland Guardians reliever James Karinchak or New York Yankees starter Gerrit Cole will fare well this season.
MLB needs to figure out a way around the illegal substance issue
Pitchers can’t even lick their fingers while on the mound. The league needs to get rid of that way of thinking and create something other than a rosin bag to enhance grip. These rosin bags don’t do much given how slick an MLB baseball is.
This is a situation that can easily be avoided, but it seems that creating a legal substance isn’t the route the league wants to go. Hopefully they figure it out soon, because mid-inning checks are inconvenient for the game.