SEATTLE — Pristine white baseballs that would not require friction are being studied by Major League Baseball as a way to solve the problem of pitchers using sticky substances for better grip.
“We continue to work with the people at Dow Chemical to develop a sticky ball,” Commissioner Ron Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “It would eliminate literally all – well, not all – but many of the variables in the current process. It would come out of a sealed foil bag at the stadium. No individual sludge.”
MLB Executive Vice President Morgan Sword said the balls were tested during the first half of this season in the Double-A Southern League. The balls would retain colored dots.
“Like everything in baseball, when you move toward a solution, you discover another problem,” Manfred said. “Baseball, if we could do it with the Dow people, would be a gem, wouldn’t it? Pure white baseball. I think if you take the hitters and the pitchers out in front here and ask them what what they think of a pure white baseball, you “We’re going to find out that it’s a pretty controversial topic. So not only do we have the science that we continue to work on, but we’re going to have to overcome this kind of political question: Is pure white baseball a good thing? »
Five pitchers have been suspended for 10 games each since MLB has started its crackdown on banned grip substances in June 2021 by instituting regular inspections by referees.
THE Seattle Mariners“Hector Santiago and Arizona Diamondbacks Caleb Smith served suspensions in 2021 and three were sanctioned this season: New York Mets‘ Max ScherzerTHE New York Yankees‘ German Domingo May 17 and the Mets Drew Smith on June 14.
“The suspensions we received would fall into the category of clear to egregious violations,” Manfred said. “I understand that feeling someone’s hand is inherently subjective. I think it’s an area where the referees, again, on a difficult subject, have shown great judgment and great discretion. I think the gray areas, the players definitely got the benefit of the doubt.”
Baseballs are currently rubbed with mud to make them less slippery. MLB standardized rubbing procedures among all 30 teams last year.