MLB’s foreign substance protocols are counterproductive, despite the meaning behind them.
When Major League Baseball announced the new foreign substance guidelines, I like many others thought it would be a good thing. However, with umpires checking pitchers right after they come off the mound and the antics that ensue because of it.
It’s ultimately just slowing down the game and making it not as enjoyable.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that especially when the balls were unjuiced, pitchers had an unfair advantage this season. Yet, at the same time, instead of banning every possible substance that could be put on a baseball. A more specific set of guidelines should have been put into place.
While Tyler Glasnow was dramatic to go to say that his inability to use substances is what caused his injury. He’s not completely wrong in the aspect that if a pitcher has used substances like sunscreen or rosin their entire lives, It’s a pretty big adjustment to make now that they’re unable to do so.
Especially in the middle of a really really hot stretch of the season.
Considering that some batters have a huge patch of pine tar on their jerseys from their bats. It’s not so unreasonable to allow pitchers to use basic substances to add more texture to their grip.
The issue is substances like spider tack, and whatever homemade sticky problems are being used. These can end up leading to wild pitches due to the ball breaking too late, potentially injuring batters.
The other issue with these checks is that it’s ultimately slowing down the game. Despite Rob Manfre has said many times that the game is becoming too slow for casual baseball fans.
His belief was that putting in the runner on second, three batter minimum, and 7 inning double headers would make the game faster.
When the issue was never the length of the game.
It was that not much was happening during that time. With K/9 going up and the leaguewide batting average going down over the past few years.
So in reality, having umpires check pitchers as they walk off the mound is just slowing down the time in between sides.
It also just messes up that flow after a pitcher has a good inning, or gets out of a tough situation unscathed. I guarantee you he wants to walk off the mound to be greeted by celebrating teammates. Not by Angel Hernandez.