Wednesday , August 10 2022

Dismissed employees report knowledge of illegal catch used by Cole, Verlander, Scherzer, Wainwright, Read more


Ahead, I will say again that I will not excuse MLB from any of the following. Unlike the Steroid Age, MLB knew that players were using more and more illegal substances to improve their game on the field and failed to act. Moreover, unlike the Steroid Age, there is reason to believe that the use of illegal substances is intense. None of this is an excuse for players, but it is an important context before it becomes too moral.

Of course, this time, I’m not talking about the type of illegal substances you’ve introduced into your body to increase performance; I’m talking about the kind of illegal substances you put on your body to enhance performance. Namely, the illegal products that improve grip, which pitchers use to generate additional rotation, which can have a huge impact on the shape and movement of pitches.

Earlier this year, an employee in Los Angeles Angels was fired after being connected to the distribution of a special adhesion-enhancing substance in the visitors’ clubhouse. The former employee, Bubba Harkins, is suing Angels and MLB for defamation, claiming that he was made a scapegoat, despite the fact that all this was well known in the game. And in his latest cases, there are significant allegations about who received his substance and / or who MLB already knows used illegal adhesion enhancers.

From ESPN:

[filings include] a statement from Harkins recalling a March 26 interview with MLB and Angels attorneys. During the interview, Harkins claims, he identified Cole, Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber, Joba Chamberlain, Adam Wainwright and Tyler Chatwood among the pitchers who had previously requested his specific blend of pine tar and rosin. , who became popular throughout the league after doing so for former close Troy Percival more than 20 years ago.

Harkins also named several current and former angels – Percival, Brendan Donnelly, Kevin Jepsen, Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, Yusmeiro Petit, Luke Bard, Matt Andriese, Dylan Peters, Jose Suarez, Kaleb Cowart and Dylan Bundy – who they used the mixture.

Some very well-known names there, obviously, and the idea is less about making a “gotcha”, because it’s about noticing how wide this is. These are just the guys appointed by a former club mate and reach the boys throughout the league (including, you’ll notice, former Cubs pitcher Tyler Chatwood). Again, it is believed that the use of illegal grip amplifiers is intense throughout the game.

To this end, my beef has never been with jugs that want to maximize grip for the sake of grip. Hell, hitters like it when they know a pitcher won’t completely lose its grip and throw one in their head. Moreover, with MLB constantly playing baseball, I think when pitchers say that sometimes the colophon is not enough if the ball is too slick.

However, where I draw the line is when the pitchers CLEARLY use the clamping material to dramatically increase their spin rate. I know the impact it can have on performance, and I know it’s against the rules. So he’s wrong. Let’s clarify this.

One of Harkins’ most salacious accusations is a text message he says he received from the Yankees as Gerrit Cole: “Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole. I was wondering if you could help me with this sticky situation [winky face emoji]. We won’t see you until May, but we have a few road games in April that are in cold weather. The things we had last year face each other when it gets cold … “

The fact that Cole is involved here shouldn’t surprise anyone, because I’ve been through this before. An August thread, where Trevor Bauer is necessarily discussed and:

First? Imagine the stones of this guy to say this now:

I understand that Bauer thinks he has proved a point in the last year by massively increasing his spin rate (which, again, he himself says is not possible without grip enhancers), but he also left with the Cy Young award. because of it. I really don’t understand how you can do that and then be on their toes.

Anyway. However, Bauer was right about one thing: there are pitchers who cheat according to current rules. Many. Probably too many to “punish” at this time. But MLB will have to keep working on this issue, because the benefits of a massive increase in spin rate – even if not obtained – may be far too great for players to give up, especially when there is this gray area of ​​”Oh Well, I only use it to get better grip for control and safety, and MLB doesn’t punish anyone for that, so it’s good if I happen to spin even more. “

Oh, one last reminder: just adding rotation to your pitches alone doesn’t make you a great pitcher. You also need to do that added spin I work for you, which is a more complex thing and for which players deserve credit. But, well, having an extra spin obviously helps with movement and life on your pitches, which is why teams target it so much.

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