Athletics

Melvin says crackdown on foreign substances could be tough

Athletics

MLB has a sticky situation on its hands … literally.

Sports Illustrated published a report on Saturday that detailed how a sticky baseball made its way into the dugout of an NL team last week. This highlighted the latest crackdown the league has on pitchers using foreign substances to maintain grips on the ball. 

Athletics manager Bob Melvin said none of the members of his team have approached him about any worries they’ve had facing pitchers who could be using any of these substances, but the process itself could prove difficult.

“No one has come to me personally,” Melvin said on Saturday. “I’ve heard guys talk about it. I think that would probably be consistent with every team, but no one’s come to me and said, ‘Could you do something about it?’ ”

The thing about this sticky stuff is, it helps increase pitcher’s spin rate which makes life tougher for hitters. As of this article, the collective batting average across MLB is .236 -- historically low.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal recently reported the league informed owners there will be a stronger crackdown on pitchers who are caught using any foreign substances. 

Melvin said it could be difficult to measure that. 

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“It’s tough to find the right line,” Melvin said. “You need some sort of tack, you need some sort of stickiness. Rosin in a night game when you don’t have any sweat or anything, does basically nothing so it’s important that they have something, but where do you draw the line?

 

“I think that’s what MLB is looking to try to go with the right balance and that’s probably going to be hard."