Saturday, June 12, 2021

MLB memo warns teams about crackdown on use of foreign substances on baseballs; according to an ESPN Report

New MLB policies intended to crack down on the use of foreign substances on baseballs have been sent to all 30 teams.

In a memo obtained today by ESPN, it looks like Major League Baseball is going to be cracking down on the use of foreign substances that might be placed on baseballs. From the ESPN Report: “In an attempt to crack down on the use of foreign substances on baseballs for the upcoming season, Major League Baseball will inspect balls taken out of play, analyze spin rate data and increase monitoring of dugouts and clubhouses.”

The memo was sent to all 30 Major League Baseball teams on Wednesday morning as teams begin the process of moving away from their Spring Training facilities and head towards their respective stadiums for the start of the 2021 MLB season. 

According to the ESPN report, the memo that was sent out to the teams is meant to help level the playing field between the batter and the pitcher. One of the substances the league says has an effect on the spin rate of baseballs is pine tar. The Spin Rate of the baseball is measured in revolutions per minute. 


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Major League Baseball will have game-day compliance officers that will monitor dugouts, batting cages and bullpens for potential violations and will file daily reporters with their observations with the league office in New York. Additionally, these compliance officers will also look at random baseballs taken out of play, and if the officer sees signs of foreign substances, the ball will be then sent to a third-party lab for further testing. This process is outlined in the memo obtained by ESPN. 

“While there has long been a rule against using foreign substances on baseballs, enforcement has been sporadic. The memo states that on-field, in-game monitoring by umpires will not change, but postgame analysis could lead to punishment. The new enhanced monitoring measures will provide a “separate evidentiary basis to support a finding that a player has violated the foreign substance rules,” according to the memo that was obtained by ESPN. 

Edited by: Jonathan Mailloux

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