Sports | June 4, 2021 12:30 pm

“Anticipate Action” After MLB Owners Reach Consensus to Combat Cheating Pitchers

MLB wants to crack down on pitchers who are using illegal sticky substances on the mound

Trevor Bauer of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Trevor Bauer of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been investigated for doctoring the baseball.
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty

As has been well-documented at this point, success of pitchers in Major League Baseball is near an all-time high, which has brought offensive numbers — and in-game action — close to a new low.

As has also been well-documented, MLB suspects that some of the success is tied to pitchers doctoring the baseball with illegal substances on the mound in order to increase the spin rate of the ball to make hitting it even more difficult than it already is.

After previously investigating some pitchers, including Trevor Bauer of the Dodgers, for messing with the ball, MLB “believes it has a strong feel for what is being used, by whom, how often and to what effect” and multiple sources told The New York Post to “anticipate action.”

That action will come following two days of meetings between major league owners that ended with a consensus that the league will crack down on cheating by focusing on three areas of emphasis, according to The Post.

  1. Emphasize to individual teams that it is their responsibility on teams to enforce rules against doctoring the ball on their own ballclub.
  2. Give umpires more power to check hats, gloves and uniforms for signs of illegal substances on a pitcher. That may mean umpires will check each pitcher as he enters the game and remove any questionable piece of equipment while issuing a warning about using illegal substances.
  3. Increase anti-cheating rules in the minor leagues to address baseball’s systemic problem.

“The use of sticky substances has grown in recent years as the sport has become more aware of the effectiveness of spinning the ball with greater revolutions,” according to The Post. “MLB is hoping greater concentration and enforcement will lead to more offense as the season progresses. The league will be able to monitor the results and decide — at that point — if even greater measures are needed through collective bargaining with the players association.”