I was in the middle of something before Tuesday’s game and missed the scrum with Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, who expressed his displeasure over Major League Baseball’s decision to implement a policy change on foreign substances in the middle of the season, and gave a tutorial on sweat mixed with rosin can also produce a sticky baseball.
But since Bauer is terminally online — a condition I also suffer from — he summarized his thoughts nicely in a few ways. Here’s an excerpt of his tweet thread explaining his problems with how MLB handled the situation, tweeting, “They’ve knowingly swept this under the rug for 4 years.”
To be clear, the memo is fine long term, and it will serve to level the playing field. That is a good thing. But to implement it mid season when for 3 months you’ve promised players and teams that nothing about your chosen enforcement of the rules would change this year and— Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) June 15, 2021
Here is Bauer demonstrating using sweat and rosin to produce a sticky baseball, in a pregame interview with SportsNet LA.
“It’s a mess. Typical MLB fashion. They didn’t get a whole lot about this right,” Bauer said. “However, I will say, four years later, they are trying to do something about the integrity of the game.”
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register summarized the situation nicely.
Inside Molly Knight’s feature on Albert Pujols’ impact on the Dodgers at The Athletic is this wonderful quote from Mookie Betts: “He’s toward the end of his career, and I just look at someone who’s been through 20 years of playing and you kind of just look at how much he enjoys just being here. I want that joy for my whole career, not just the tail end of it. That’s kind of what he brought. A lot of smiles. Loosened things up.”
As Fabian Ardaya pointed out at The Athletic, the Dodgers are at or near the top of several team offensive categories in the National League despite this fact: “Through their first 66 games this year, they’ve had five of their most critical position players — Betts, Muncy, Bellinger, Justin Turner and Corey Seager — in the lineup at once a total of three times.”
On the latest Starkville podcast at The Athletic, Jayson Stark looked at box scores dating back to 1900 and found that Walker Buehler last week in Pittsburgh was the first starting pitcher in the modern era to allow a fair ball hit over the fence and give up no runs in the same game.
Jonathan Judge at Baseball Prospectus looked at whether pitcher spin rate has actually changed in June.