As Major League Baseball announced that it's banning a bunch of sticky substances, from mixing sunscreen with rosin to Spider Tack, any pitcher that gets caught, beginning next Monday, will be ejected from the game and suspended for 10 games.
With the regulation of new rules imminent, pitchers across the league have been forced to ditch substances and alter their grips in order to control the baseball. One of those pitchers is Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow, who said he used sunscreen solely to help grip the ball and that it didn't give him a competitive advantage at all.
Glasnow, who suffered a partially torn UCL in his elbow and will be forced to miss an extended period of time, came out on Tuesday and ripped MLB for its new policy, saying the changes in the middle of the season significantly factored into his injury.
“But I just threw 80-something, 70-whatever innings and then you just told me I can’t use anything in the middle of the year? I had to change everything I’ve been doing the entire season… I truly believe that’s why I got hurt," Glasnow said. "Me throwing 100 and being 6’7” is why I got hurt, but that contributed. I’m just frustrated that they don’t understand how hard it is to pitch, one, but to tell us to do something completely different in the middle of a season is insane.”
Glasnow said he understands MLB trying to ban substances like Spider Tack, which significantly increase the spin rate on the baseball, but doesn't get why sunscreen was banned, something that solely allows them to get a better grip.
Speaking with the Sports Junkies on Wednesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was asked about Glasnow's comments and called him "courageous" for speaking up about the issue.
"With Tyler, I thought that was a courageous statement that was made," Rizzo said. "So many times, these guys hide behind these anonymous quotes and that type of thing, so good for him for saying it out loud and putting his name on it when he was on camera. I give him a lot of credit."
While Rizzo understands why MLB is cracking down on the sticky substances, he also agreed with Glasnow that it could have been implemented a lot slower for the safety of the game.
"Players have been using tacky stuff for years. I credit MLB for trying to level the playing field," Rizzo said. "That's the objective here, to level the playing field, so I give them credit for that. We could have implemented this thing a little slower, maybe in spring training to do so, but it's here now and we all have to adjust to it and we have to do it the best way without getting our players hurt. So that's how we're going to attack this thing."
Fortunately for the Nationals, though, Rizzo says using sticky substances is something the club has talked about quite often and that they're one of the few clubs that has continued to play everything straight up and "the right way."
"We've talked to our pitchers at nauseum about this. We're one of the few teams that plays it straight and does it the right way and doesn't cheat," Rizzo said. "We're the last team since 2017 that went a full season and won a World Series [without cheating], with the Astros in 2017 and the Red Sox in 2018. We did it the right way, the legit way and we never take shortcuts."