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Are most pitchers cheating


I did not see this elsewhere in the forum. This is an article by Joel Sherman of the NY Post that suggests that many pitchers are cheating and he outlines what he thinks baseball should do about this. 
https://nypost.com/2021/06/02/mlb-must-put-a-stop-to-cheating-substances-epidemic-sherman/

From the article. “Then pick a start date, like July 1, to state that umpires are being ordered to aggressively check for foreign substances, and if one is proven to be used, then not just the pitcher, but the pitching coach, manager and head of baseball operations too will all be suspended for 10 games (the length Michael Pineda was suspended in 2014 for having pine tar on his neck).”

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Yes, most pitchers are cheating and it’s becoming well documented from national columnists. 
 

MLB claimed they were going to strictly enforce the rule in spring training, but we all know baseball is horrible at policing themselves. Managers don’t want to call out the opposing pitcher because odds are they will bring in one of their own pitchers using foreign substances later in the game. Putting the burden on umpires leads to biases from fans - “JoE WeSt is TaRgEtInG our team!”

Hire a third party to inspect the players, equipment, and dugout before each game. If they find a foreign substance the player is ejected from the game and suspension pending. 

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1 hour ago, Vanimal46 said:

Yes, most pitchers are cheating and it’s becoming well documented from national columnists. 
 

MLB claimed they were going to strictly enforce the rule in spring training, but we all know baseball is horrible at policing themselves. Managers don’t want to call out the opposing pitcher because odds are they will bring in one of their own pitchers using foreign substances later in the game. Putting the burden on umpires leads to biases from fans - “JoE WeSt is TaRgEtInG our team!”

Hire a third party to inspect the players, equipment, and dugout before each game. If they find a foreign substance the player is ejected from the game and suspension pending. 

All of this. This is what’s going on and a I like the idea of a 3rd party monitoring. But MLB won’t do this or will over too long of a time, kicking and screaming, á la ped usage 

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There's an article in the Wall Street Journal today attesting to a combination of related factors that have given pitchers the advantage, and that is not only because of a preponderance of swinging for the fences and striking out, but because pitchers have discovered today's players cannot hit a high and hard fastball at the top of the zone. They've been told to lay off it all their lives so now they can't touch it with a pole (heh). The authors compare it to hitters in softball who have problems with a rise ball. They attach a clip on You Tube showing Albert Pujols trying to catch up with risers thrown by Jennie Finch. He can't.

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12 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

This is an entertaining, and informative video to watch about the topic.

 

 

That’s a really interesting video. Thanks for sharing. Lots of speculation in it, but the speculation seems well founded. Regardless, MLB has a big problem on their hands. I hope they crack down.

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Interesting video. I wish there had been an explanation of how using foreign substances increases spin rates, or why increased spin rates makes baseballs harder to hit. 

Much of the b-roll in the video is from past seasons. If the video creator has been immersed in the issue as closely as he suggests, he might have dropped in the clip of the ball sticking to Yadier Molina’s chest protector. 

I don’t like the clip of Ohtani as if Ohtani is part of the conspiracy. Ohtani’s spin rates have increased, but not so much that it couldn’t be attributed to the manufacture of the 2021 baseball itself (for example, raised laces). Same with deGrom, in my opinion, by the way. I do recall in 2019 that pitchers said they couldn’t grip the baseballs. Maybe the foreign substance talk this season is a reaction to how baseballs were made that season.

Like someone said, baseball cannot seem to get out of its own way.

People can click here to go to Baseball Savant and do their own investigation. Start by searching a player’s name, then on the player’s page scroll halfway down to the Pitch Tracking section, then click on More Seasons. Spin is one of the last columns. It’s really nice that MLB makes this information publicly available.  

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco
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I am getting skeptical that “70% of pitchers” are cheating with some new foreign substance. Maybe it’s true? But I’m a skeptic as of now. 

Unscientific, but I have looked up the records of couple dozen pitchers now the past couple days, and though I am not counting, I’d estimate less than half have seen increases in their spin rates, and even less than that where I wonder if it might be attributed to something other than a typical variation, new baseball, new grip, whatever. Kyle Gibson is clean, for example. I forced myself to search Twin pitchers like Pineda and Berrios and eeeeek..... they are clean as well. 

no doubt to be continued...

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10 hours ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

I am getting skeptical that “70% of pitchers” are cheating with some new foreign substance. Maybe it’s true? But I’m a skeptic as of now. 

Unscientific, but I have looked up the records of couple dozen pitchers now the past couple days, and though I am not counting, I’d estimate less than half have seen increases in their spin rates, and even less than that where I wonder if it might be attributed to something other than a typical variation, new baseball, new grip, whatever. Kyle Gibson is clean, for example. I forced myself to search Twin pitchers like Pineda and Berrios and eeeeek..... they are clean as well. 

no doubt to be continued...

As Hosken Bombo Disco you might remember when Gene Mauch pinch hit for 7 consecutive batters. I remember Maury Wills, on the game of the week, saying that Bostock had been outstanding but he saw no reason Powell couldn’t be a .300 hitter also. My recollection is Powell became pull happy and started grounding out to 2B a lot and his average plummeted. The 1977  team was THE TEAM. If Griffith hadn’t let everybody walk and acquired some pitching they could have been unstoppable!

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This about sums it up:

>“I’m tired of hearing people say that players only want to hit home runs,” says Rockies rightfielder Charlie Blackmon. “That’s not why people are striking out. They’re striking out because guys are throwing 97 mile-an-hour super sinkers, or balls that just go straight up with all this sticky stuff and the new-baseball spin rate. That’s why guys are striking out, because it’s really hard not to strike out."

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I was going to start a new topic but found this and am putting it here- Do Twins pitchers use anything?

I've been looking at baseball savant at a few of the guys who have been with the Twins a while and a few who have gone elsewhere. Anecdotally, I haven't noticed it but then again that could be the broadcast team not showing the right shots or the predominantly dark coloured hats. It is really hard to tell from baseball reference as well, unlike other guys in the league. Take Berrios- No obvious jumps although an uptick of ~90 rpm on the fastball this season. I haven't heard a consensus on when the sticky stuff era begins but he goes back to 2016. 

Maeda saw spin rate drop on all his pitches last season joining from the Dodgers. He then has his best season. But what to make of it? The Dodgers gave Bauer the bag so they could get his formula but they must have been using something before? So given Kentas drop is so slight it might indicate the Twins are using something but its not as good?

But then Pineda got called out with the Yanks for using pine tar and has lower RPMs with the Twins. But he isn't a high spin rate guy in the first place. 

No pitchers either joining or leaving the Twins have seen a suspicious jump of 200+RPM that I can find. Sometimes it ticks up for the slider but then that could be mechanical adjustments made by the slider fanclub in the Twins pitching department. I'm guessing they must have something but aren't as extreme with it as other teams. Maybe that's why they haven't landed big name pitching in free agency... maybe teams are salivating to glue Berrios' fingers to a baseball and turn him into a sub 2 ERA guy. Maybe they will be better suited if there are rule changes. I don't know but all I do know is that the Pitchers are probably very discrete about it so that Josh Donaldson doesn't see them sticky up and deck them out. 

 

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1 hour ago, Fritzderkat said:

This about sums it up:

>“I’m tired of hearing people say that players only want to hit home runs,” says Rockies rightfielder Charlie Blackmon. “That’s not why people are striking out. They’re striking out because guys are throwing 97 mile-an-hour super sinkers, or balls that just go straight up with all this sticky stuff and the new-baseball spin rate. That’s why guys are striking out, because it’s really hard not to strike out."

He would know best, going up against the buzzsaws of LA and San Diego dozens of times a season. 

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I’m as anxious as anyone to see where the data leads us.

There’s probably the run-of-the-mill sticky stuff that’s been passed down for basically forever (not excusing it) by many pitchers, and then there seems to be this new concoction that changes the game completely. Hey, I’d love it if none of it existed.

i was surprised to see the Sawchik tweet about Josh Hader’s historically “poor” spin rates. Lower spin rate than Happ or Shoemaker.

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