Sports | October 9, 2021 8:28 pm

Are the Yankees and MLB Working on a New Foreign Substance Policy?

Reportedly, Gerrit Cole is involved

Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 14, 2021.
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Major League Baseball’s rules are pretty clear about foreign substances being applied to the ball. As the league noted in a recent update over the “sticky stuff” controversy, Rule 3.01 bans damaging or discoloring balls using “soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper or other foreign substance.” Rule 6.02 clarifies that further, and adds allusions to substances like spit, mud and Super-Glue.

But according to former Marlins president David Samson, that might be about to change — and it has to do with Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole.

Samson appeared on The Rich Eisen Show last week, and addressed Cole’s performance in the AL Wild Card game. “[A]t the end of the day, without foreign substances, he’s far less effective,” Samson said. “He’s not really an ace.” As Mike Rosenstein reported at, Samson went on to make a bold statement — specifically, that the Yankees are working with the league to update MLB’s foreign substance policy.

“I’m saying that the New York Yankees are working very closely with the Commissioner’s Office and they are trying to develop a foreign substance that is agreed to by the union as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and they are testing that substance by calling up Gerrit Cole and saying, ‘Hey, do you like this one? Do you like that one?’” Samson told Eisen.

Are Samson’s words about a change in league policy accurate? The offseason is on the horizon — suggesting we’ll all know before too long.