Author Topic: Illegal Substances  (Read 341 times)

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Offline varoadking

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Illegal Substances
« Topic Start: June 09, 2021, 01:20:20 PM »

So Cole, in cringeworthy fashion, all but acknowledged that he's a cheat.  Have to wonder when the other wildly successful pitchers are asked the same pointed question and how they react to it.

Offline KnorrForYourMoney

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #1: June 12, 2021, 11:11:08 AM »
*sigh* Hate to say it, but it's imminently possible that Max is one of those people.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #2: June 12, 2021, 11:13:21 AM »
*sigh* Hate to say it, but it's imminently possible that Max is one of those people.
Has he had spikes in his spin rate, or is it invisible because he's been doing it since before spin could be measured?

Offline varoadking

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #3: June 12, 2021, 07:34:05 PM »

Ryan Vogelsong was interviewed on the local Squirrels network yesterday.  He said he never used any substance...including the rosin bag.  You can come to your own conclusions based upon his roller-coaster career, including 3 years in Japan...

https://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=vogelry01

He did say that the baseball today is so different, he likened it to throwing a cue ball...


Offline Five Banners

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #4: June 13, 2021, 12:10:53 PM »
Ryan Vogelsong was interviewed on the local Squirrels network yesterday.  He said he never used any substance...including the rosin bag.  You can come to your own conclusions based upon his roller-coaster career, including 3 years in Japan...

https://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=vogelry01

He did say that the baseball today is so different, he likened it to throwing a cue ball...



Yet another area where MLB has apparently meddled under the current regime.  I tend to think that this is being made an issue now maybe so it also can somehow be rolled into the CBA talks as far as greater commissioner ability to penalize etc.

Offline welch

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #5: June 13, 2021, 07:53:42 PM »
The SI article said that the Nats had one of the largest increases in spin-rate this season. I'm guessing Fedde and Voth, who were mediocre before this. The article says that players suspect Max, as well.

Worst team is the Dodgers, though.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #6: June 13, 2021, 08:49:30 PM »
IIRC, Voth had a great curve in 2019.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #7: June 13, 2021, 08:59:29 PM »
Ryan Vogelsong was interviewed on the local Squirrels network yesterday.  He said he never used any substance...including the rosin bag.  You can come to your own conclusions based upon his roller-coaster career, including 3 years in Japan...

https://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=vogelry01

He did say that the baseball today is so different, he likened it to throwing a cue ball...

I caught a foul ball at a minor league game today.  Thing was so covered in sticky crap I would have had to try to drop it.

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #8: June 13, 2021, 11:33:52 PM »
Has he had spikes in his spin rate, or is it invisible because he's been doing it since before spin could be measured?

He’s been consistent for the past four years. Average spin rate: 2487, 2474, 2472, 2483

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #9: June 13, 2021, 11:35:53 PM »
The SI article said that the Nats had one of the largest increases in spin-rate this season. I'm guessing Fedde and Voth, who were mediocre before this. The article says that players suspect Max, as well.

Worst team is the Dodgers, though.

Link? All articles I’ve read indicate our spin rate increases are pedestrian

Online Dave in Fairfax

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #10: June 14, 2021, 01:39:32 AM »
I distinctly remember an interview with Sean Doolittle a few years back where he discussed spin-rate and how he'd worked on that to maintain his effectiveness as he got older. There, the context was taking a more scientific approach to the game and the art of pitching. I can't remember if he specifically discussed how one generates more spin-rate, though I think it was about using high-speed cameras and getting a better appreciation of how exactly the ball leaves one's fingertips. I suppose now all spin-rate discussions will be about foreign substances?


Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #12: June 14, 2021, 07:22:30 AM »
Link? All articles I’ve read indicate our spin rate increases are pedestrian
The SI article said 3 percent on four seam fastballs for the Nats.  7 percent for the Dodgers. Of course Bauer did not pitch for them last year. Don’t know what the breakdown is for individual pitchers which would be more telling.

If a pitcher went from 92 mph fastballs last year to 95 this year would you say that is pedestrian?  Because that is basically 3 percent.

Offline nfotiu

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #13: June 14, 2021, 09:34:43 AM »
So are the teams that increased the most this year from last year presumed to be the most cheating, or are they just catching up to the teams who've been doing it all along?

Offline welch

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #14: June 14, 2021, 09:56:15 AM »
Summary of expected rules, from ESPN:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/31619399/sources-mlb-finalizing-memo-rule-use-foreign-substances-pitchers?platform=amp

From Ken Rosenthal in "The Athletic":

Quote
• Umpires will check starting pitchers at least twice a game and relief pitchers at least once.

• Checks will be done as pitchers come off the mound after an inning has ended or a pitching change has been made — in other words, during commercial breaks.

• If an umpire believes a pitcher is using a substance, he will be encouraged to check the pitcher during the inning. Umpires can check fingers, skin, hats, gloves, belts and any other part of the uniform.

• If substances are found, the pitcher will be ejected and his equipment and/or uniform will be confiscated and given to the on-site major-league authenticator.

• Umpires will be instructed to check a position player’s glove only if they believe he is doctoring balls for the pitcher.




Offline nfotiu

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #15: June 14, 2021, 10:18:35 AM »
Summary of expected rules, from ESPN:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/31619399/sources-mlb-finalizing-memo-rule-use-foreign-substances-pitchers?platform=amp

From Ken Rosenthal in "The Athletic":




I really thought they'd settle on some kind of moderate substance standard that was ok.   I wonder how much this will change things.

Offline welch

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #16: June 14, 2021, 11:34:25 AM »
I distinctly remember an interview with Sean Doolittle a few years back where he discussed spin-rate and how he'd worked on that to maintain his effectiveness as he got older. There, the context was taking a more scientific approach to the game and the art of pitching. I can't remember if he specifically discussed how one generates more spin-rate, though I think it was about using high-speed cameras and getting a better appreciation of how exactly the ball leaves one's fingertips. I suppose now all spin-rate discussions will be about foreign substances?

Pitching coaches will say: "Why bother thinking as deeply and scientifically as Sean Doolittle when you can just add this adhesive to your fingers?"

Offline welch

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #17: June 14, 2021, 11:48:04 AM »
Quote
For those who missed it in "Clubhouse", here is the article from SI. Bob and Justin talked about it just when it was released.

https://www.si.com/mlb/2021/06/04/sticky-stuff-is-the-new-steroids-daily-cover

Quote
To understand the fiasco of baseball’s 2021 season, which people around the game describe as sullied by rampant cheating to a degree not seen since the steroid era, all you have to do is pick up a ball.

Then try to put it back down.

One ball made its way into an NL dugout last week, where players took turns touching a palm to the sticky material coating it and lifting the baseball, adhered to their hand, into the air. Another one, corralled in a different NL dugout, had clear-enough fingerprints indented in the goo that opponents could mimic the pitcher’s grip. A third one, also in the NL, was so sticky that when an opponent tried to pull the glue off, three inches of seams came off with it.

Over the past two or three years, pitchers’ illegal application to the ball of what they call “sticky stuff”—at first a mixture of sunscreen and rosin, now various forms of glue—has become so pervasive that one recently retired hurler estimates “80 to 90%” of pitchers are using it in some capacity. The sticky stuff helps increase spin on pitches, which in turn increases their movement, making them more difficult to hit. That’s contributed to an offensive crisis that has seen the league-wide batting average plummet to a historically inept .236. (Sports Illustrated spoke with more than two dozen people; most of them requested anonymity to discuss cheating within their own organizations

From the dugout, players and coaches shake their heads as they listen to pitchers’ deliveries. “You can hear the friction,” says an American League manager. The recently retired pitcher likens it to the sound of ripping off a Band-Aid. A major league team executive says his players have examined foul balls and found the MLB logo torn straight off the leather.

<snip>

According to the data, L.A. has by a large margin the highest year-to-year increase of any club in spin rate on four-seam fastballs, which are considered a bellwether pitch. In fact, the Dodgers’ four-seam spin rate is higher than that of any other team in the Statcast era. There is no proof the Dodgers are doctoring baseballs, but nearly across the board, their hurlers’ spin rates on that pitch have increased this season from last.

The Dodgers declined to comment.

<snip>

A lawsuit brought late last year by a fired Angels clubhouse employee alleged that the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, the Nationals’ Max Scherzer and the Astros’ Justin Verlander were among the users of one such substance. (The suit has been dismissed and is being appealed; SI reached out to each player through his agency but did not receive replies.)

<snip>

Before Bauer’s spin rate jumped, he had an ERA of 4.04 and the 228th-best opponent batting average, at .241. Since the increase, those figures are 2.31 and an MLB-best .161. The Athletic reported in April that the league had collected several balls from Bauer’s first start that “had visible markings and were sticky.” Asked about the report at the time, Bauer said, “MLB is just collecting baseballs to do a study. Like, they’re not doing anything with them. No one’s under investigation, or no one’s—like, just these gossip bloggers out here, writing stuff to try to throw water on my name or whatever.”

<snip>


Offline Kevrock

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #18: June 14, 2021, 11:59:02 AM »


Thank you, yeah I just found it.

The SI article said 3 percent on four seam fastballs for the Nats.  7 percent for the Dodgers. Of course Bauer did not pitch for them last year. Don’t know what the breakdown is for individual pitchers which would be more telling.

If a pitcher went from 92 mph fastballs last year to 95 this year would you say that is pedestrian?  Because that is basically 3 percent.

3% spin doesn't equate directly to 3mph of velo

This article tracks roster moves and goes deeper than the SI article to try to tie the data to the organizations more directly. It has us middle of the pack for spin rate increases.

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2021/6/9/22524269/mlb-spin-doctors-the-teams-that-have-added-the-most-fastball-spin-dodgers-padres-pirates

Someone that is paid to do this should really do a deep dive into the Nationals pitching staff. SI had us top five, but none of the bloggers or paid writers have gone deep on it? The data is there.

Offline Five Banners

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #19: June 14, 2021, 12:15:39 PM »
There’s been some talk of standardizing some rosin derivative for general use, but who knows if practical commonsense compromise will happen versus CBA positioning being the priority

Offline The Chief

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #20: June 14, 2021, 12:42:27 PM »
I wonder if there has ever been an era in any major sport where cheating *wasn't* rampant.  I assume it's more a matter of only being noticed when a new method is especially effective.

Offline imref

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #21: June 14, 2021, 01:04:34 PM »
SI's Stephanie Apstein has obtained text messages from Gerrit Cole, Adam Wainwright, and a representative for Max Scherzer asking Angels' former visiting clubhouse manager Brian Harkins for his signature sticky stuff:

https://twitter.com/Todayin_MLB/status/1404483244427513859

https://www.si.com/mlb/2021/06/14/sticky-stuff-bubba-harkins-speaking-out-daily-cover

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #22: June 14, 2021, 01:25:26 PM »
The Nats should fire whoever sent those texts. Use a third party and don't name names. The whole front office should watch The Wire.

Also, curious to what happens to Max's spin rate.

Offline Slateman

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #23: June 14, 2021, 01:43:53 PM »
I wonder if there has ever been an era in any major sport where cheating *wasn't* rampant.  I assume it's more a matter of only being noticed when a new method is especially effective.
Nope. As long as there is competition, there will be people trying to cheat

Offline UMDNats

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Re: Illegal Substances
« Reply #24: June 14, 2021, 03:42:40 PM »
lmfao these guys are worth half a billion dollars and basically just group texted "HEY CAN YOU HELP ME COMMIT SOME CRIMES"

just so stupid