Author Topic: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations  (Read 203 times)

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Online Slateman

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Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Topic Start: January 08, 2021, 08:27:08 AM »
https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2021-01-07/fired-angels-employee-bubba-harkins-names-players-illegal-product?_amp=true&__twitter_impression=true

Quote
Harkins also claimed that MLB has evidence implicating several star pitchers — including Cole, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber and Adam Wainwright — for using foreign substances to improve their grip on the ball.

Scherzer gonna struggle in 2021 because everyone will be checking him

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #1: January 08, 2021, 08:33:10 AM »
This has been rampant for years and is next to impossible to police. Are they really trying to crack down on this? The last time I dove deep into it, I came out with the impression that they should just make it legal.

Edit: It still looks like MLB has no interest policing this or cracking down on it. Unfortunately, this Harkins' reputation is trashed.

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #2: January 08, 2021, 08:42:38 AM »
Bauer is already all over this on Twitter, lol. I remember when he called out this situation in 2018.

His Tweet on this then was spot on - teams were grabbing up pitchers on FA and knowing that they could easily increase their spin rates and getting bargains. He also said to just pick whether it's legal or illegal but be consistent.

Offline nfotiu

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #3: January 08, 2021, 09:38:36 AM »
Yeah, it really seems like it needs to just be made legal.  If it's as widespread as everyone says, and they crack down for real, it's going to make for a messy season of a lot of pitchers getting rocked.  They need to make it right with Harkins too.   The cat is too much out of the bag now.

Online imref

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #4: January 08, 2021, 10:38:39 AM »
Yeah, it really seems like it needs to just be made legal.  If it's as widespread as everyone says, and they crack down for real, it's going to make for a messy season of a lot of pitchers getting rocked.  They need to make it right with Harkins too.   The cat is too much out of the bag now.

this makes sense. Plus the article notes it protects the batters by reducing wild pitches. I don't see how you can argue that it's OK for batters to use substances like pine tar to improve bat grip but it's not ok for pitchers to use it to improve ball grip.  It doesn't sound like there's evidence that these substances are altering the pitches.  Come up with a standard concoction and make it legal for everyone to use it.

Offline Five Banners

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #5: January 08, 2021, 10:59:29 AM »
this makes sense. Plus the article notes it protects the batters by reducing wild pitches. I don't see how you can argue that it's OK for batters to use substances like pine tar to improve bat grip but it's not ok for pitchers to use it to improve ball grip.  It doesn't sound like there's evidence that these substances are altering the pitches.  Come up with a standard concoction and make it legal for everyone to use it.

It’s not hard to argue the difference. One only applies to the grip on the hitting implement, the other can reportedly enhance spin rates, which has been the target of MLB rules since the outlawing of the spitball.

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #6: January 08, 2021, 12:11:04 PM »
this makes sense. Plus the article notes it protects the batters by reducing wild pitches. I don't see how you can argue that it's OK for batters to use substances like pine tar to improve bat grip but it's not ok for pitchers to use it to improve ball grip.  It doesn't sound like there's evidence that these substances are altering the pitches.  Come up with a standard concoction and make it legal for everyone to use it.

Well the standard concoction is the rosin bag, isn't it?

It’s not hard to argue the difference. One only applies to the grip on the hitting implement, the other can reportedly enhance spin rates, which has been the target of MLB rules since the outlawing of the spitball.

There's two different types of substances in your post.

1. Friction Reducers like the Spitball
You have way less control of a spitball than throwing a normal pitch. Spit didn't just increase spin, it makes the spin and the delivery of the ball widely unpredictable, like a sped up knuckleball, because the ball slides off the spit finger. I still remember one I successfully threw while goofing around with a teammate that had this sick armside dive that probably would have killed a batter if one was standing in.

https://www.wikihow.com/Throw-a-Spitball

Quote
Since the friction between your fingers and the ball gives the ball its spin, you can also keep the goop on your finger while you throw. Something slippery, like spit, will reduce the friction of the pitch, achieving a similar effect. It's not illegal to lick your fingers before throwing a pitch.[3]

2. Friction "Increasers" like Pine Tar
These are foreign substances that improve their grip and spin rate.

So as I understand it, Pine Tar doesn't make the game more dangerous (like spit or Vaseline or sunscreen) but does make the pitcher better. And as has been pointed out, Pine Tar probably makes the game safer on hot days.

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #7: January 08, 2021, 12:14:17 PM »
Yeah, it really seems like it needs to just be made legal.  If it's as widespread as everyone says, and they crack down for real, it's going to make for a messy season of a lot of pitchers getting rocked.  They need to make it right with Harkins too.   The cat is too much out of the bag now.

I believe one of the issues enforcing this is that many of the substances are clear at this point.

Agree about the Harkins thing.

Offline Five Banners

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Re: Scherzer named in Pine Tar allegations
« Reply #8: January 08, 2021, 01:44:19 PM »
Well the standard concoction is the rosin bag, isn't it?

There's two different types of substances in your post.

1. Friction Reducers like the Spitball
You have way less control of a spitball than throwing a normal pitch. Spit didn't just increase spin, it makes the spin and the delivery of the ball widely unpredictable, like a sped up knuckleball, because the ball slides off the spit finger. I still remember one I successfully threw while goofing around with a teammate that had this sick armside dive that probably would have killed a batter if one was standing in.

https://www.wikihow.com/Throw-a-Spitball

2. Friction "Increasers" like Pine Tar
These are foreign substances that improve their grip and spin rate.

So as I understand it, Pine Tar doesn't make the game more dangerous (like spit or Vaseline or sunscreen) but does make the pitcher better. And as has been pointed out, Pine Tar probably makes the game safer on hot days.

The reference was directly to the rule changes that covered and targeted modifications.

https://www.boston.com/sports/mlb/2020/03/06/mlb-spitball-substance-rules

“Rule 3.01 says no player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand paper, emery paper or other foreign substance. Rule 6.02 prohibits the application of a foreign substance to the ball or even possessing a foreign substance on the mound. It also says defacing the ball “in any manner” is against the rules.”