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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Doesn’t Think Foreign Substance Use is Cheating

At least not yet.



Buckle up for the foreign substance debate across baseball for the foreseeable future. MLB is looking to crackdown and it could drastically change the way teams play their game. That includes the Dodgers. 

It’s no secret that pitchers around the league use something to help them grip the baseballs better. There is no reason at this point to think that the Dodgers are NOT using something. Yes, it’s technically in the rulebook right now, but it’s so vague that it’s almost never enforced. 

That’s the viewpoint that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts takes on it. When asked if he thinks that using the substances is cheating, Doc seemed to think that right now it’s not. When the rule is put in place and enforced, then it will be. 

I don’t. I think that cheating is more when the rules are imposed or in place, and you break them. But I think that we’re getting to that point. And I think that, as I do understand it, players that do get caught using a foreign substance that’s not allowed by Major League Baseball will be deemed cheaters. 

It’s tough to say that players are breaking rules when there is no clear definition of a foreign substance. Players have long used the rosin and sunscreen mixture that has been ignored entirely by teams and umpires. So the Dodgers manager has a point. 

Dodgers Related: Something Seems Off With Blake Treinen

For the moment, it is a very blurred line. When MLB inevitably sets out its rules and regulations we might have a better understanding. What do you think? Are players cheating by using literally anything to enhance their grip?

Dodgers: Trevor Bauer’s Cryptic Answer When Asked About Foreign Substance Use

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Has anyone else noticed how the Dodgers’ starting pitching quality has slipped since this story broke? Don’t misunderstand I think their starters are among the best, but the offense needs to get it in gear! They can’t expect the starters to hold a team to 1-2 runs forever.

  2. yes, “foreign substances” have always been banned (since the days of the spitter). pitchers in the 70s and 80s were continually checked for vaseline etc., and were ejected and fined when found using. seems MLB has stopped checking, so has been too lax. but the rule is there, although vague on precise definition of “foreign substances”.

  3. I have a hard time understanding how a slider move to the right or left. Mr Treinen, is really good at this. As a matter of fact I haven’t seen to many pitcher doing this, maybe Bauer. I really have a lot of respect for the Dodgers pitching. World super star class. Very fun

    • Nothing hard about it, just knowledge and practice
      I rarely threw the slider . Hang that and it’s HR derby
      But I once had an immaculate inning with help of the wind and my curve ball

  4. Been pitching since my late teens and until I hurt my elbow 4 years ago I was still pitching into my early 80,s
    I used Vaseline , sun tan lotion and talcum powder on one occasion or another. The grip on my breaking pitches was always exceptional so I never needed pine tar. I watch every dodger game. If my boys in blue are using illegal substances they are miracle workers. Absolutely no evidence do I see.
    I think the worthless spots illustraded just want to boost sales

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