On Tuesday, MLB sent out a press release stating pitchers will be ejected and suspended for 10 games if caught using foreign substances to doctor baseballs.
According to the release, the league’s crackdown came from information collected over the first couple of months of the season, including complaints from players, coaches, executives and umpires, that there is a prevalence of foreign substances being used by MLB pitchers. Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane gave his thoughts on how the team plans to handle the new regulations, and how it’s a good thing overall.
“Like any rule, we adhere to it,” Beane said Tuesday. “Certainly we are well aware of the rules of baseball and we’ll move forward and enforce the rules at least informing of our guys and making sure they understand the penalties that come if in fact they do break the rules, whether it be with substances or anything else.”
The lengthy press release states that umpires will be periodically and randomly checking pitchers throughout the game, whether or not they suspect a violation. If caught, suspensions will run 10 games and repeat offenders will be subject “to progressive discipline.” The clubs also are subject to discipline.
“After an extensive process of repeated warnings without effect, gathering information from current and former players and others across the sport, two months of comprehensive data collection, listening to our fans and thoughtful deliberation, I have determined that new enforcement of foreign substances is needed to level the playing field,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in the release.
Safety was also mentioned as part of the reasoning for the regulations.
You can read more about the new rules effective June 21 here.
On Tuesday, Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow opened up about the foreign substance crackdown and said it was the reason he sustained a partially torn UCL and flexor tendon strain.
He said rather than being able to grip his typical secondary pitches, he had to “dig it deeper” into his hand, which changes the entirety of the grip itself. He said he knew what was going to happen, and that the league suggesting that eliminating these substances could lead to a decrease in injuries sounded “dumb.”
Beane however, said overall, the new rules are good for the game.
“I think it’ll hopefully be good for everybody,” he said. “We rid any doubt from the game quite frankly.”