Baseball has a sticky situation on its hands. Yes, pun. I’m sorry to say that even with everything that has already come out over the last few days involving pitchers and foreign substances, chances are that we’re just getting warmed up.
The unofficial poster child for sticky stuff in MLB is none other than Dodgers’ right-hander Trevor Bauer. Bauer has been outspoken for years over this issue in baseball. And now, after a recent Sports Illustrated article label Los Angeles as “Spin City,” he’s the one who answers the hardest questions about the potential use of foreign substances in the game today.
Now, his comments on his own use of the sticky are open to interpretation. But he didn’t mince words when it came to slamming Major League Baseball over its back and forth handling of enforcing some sort of definitive rule. As of now, it “always changes day to day.”
No one knows what the rules are right now currently including MLB and the commissioner [Rob Manfred]. It’d be nice as players to know what rules we’re competing by, and what rules are going to be enforced. As everyone knows now, a rule that’s written down that isn’t ever enforced is not a rule.
It’s another black mark on Manfred’s tenure as commissioner. Under his leadership, the game has been heavily scrutinized over many things. But clear and consistent punishment may be atop the list. The biggest instance you can point to is the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal in which players cheated during a championship season and faced zero punishment. Only the front office suffered as the team’s manager and general manager were suspended and subsequently fired.
Additionally, there was a measly $5 million fine, the maximum allowable.
Bauer over the years has often been outspoken in his own scrutiny of league leadership. From player suspensions to broadcast restrictions to this sticky stuff, the pitcher has spoken freely (often on his YouTube channel) about his issues with how baseball has struggled with its product.
In the case of these foreign substances, he offers a solution.
Let everyone be on a fair playing field. So if you’re gonna enforce it, then enforce it. And if you’re not then stop sweeping it under the rug, which is what they’ve done for four years now. I’d just like to see everyone be able to compete on a fair playing field so we can see who the best players are and who the best team is according to the given rules and the given enforcement of the rules.
If you’re sick of this storyline in baseball, I’m sorry to say that we likely have a few more weeks of this discourse.