Not even the very best pitcher in MLB is immune from the league’s new rule mandating umpires check for prohibited sticky compounds on pitchers’ individuals.
And, it appears, the umpires are very comprehensive in looking for said compounds. Case in point: This video of Mets ace Jacob deGrom unbuckling his belt ahead of the Braves doubleheader– you understand, on the off chance he might be hiding something … unlawful.
As Keith Hernandez says: “Thank God they didn’t go that far.”
Please leave it to among the best cubicles in baseball to discover a little humor in an absurd scenario (which, to be fair, is already pretty funny). But the issue of altering balls is no laughing matter to MLB, which will impose a 10-day suspension without pay to any pitcher caught trying to doctor their pitches.
Those rules are 3.01 and 6.02( c) and 6.02( d), which eventually total up to preventing pitchers or gamers from doctoring balls or their hands in any way to impact the way a pitch moves as it travels to the plate. For those questioning, that consists of, per Guideline 3.01, that “no gamer will purposefully stain or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper or other foreign substance.”
And, per Rule 6.01( c): A pitcher may not “apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball;” “deface the ball in any manner;” “have on his individual, or in his possession, any foreign substance;” or “attach anything to his hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, bracelet, etc.).”.
Thinking about how fantastic deGrom has been on the mound all season– a 6-2 record.054 ERA, four earned runs, 111 strikeouts, and.507 WHIP entering Monday’s start– it makes good sense the umps would examine to see if he could get a little help. Nope: The Mets ace is on a natural tear.