The foreign substance crackdown is coming to MLB, and very soon. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, it could be in place as soon as next Monday. That’s wild considering how few details have been provided on the massive change.
Olney said earlier in the week that MLB plans on having umpires heavily involved in policing the process. That would include 8-10 checks per game on both position players and pitchers as they see fit.
Olney spoke about the sweeping changes coming to MLB on the Rich Eisen Show this week. According to him, umpires are going to be provided with counting reports on how pitchers try to use foreign substances during games. Interestingly enough, Olney says these reports were built with the help of current players.
Major League Baseball has effectively built scouting reports on how different pitchers are using foreign substances. And that information is going to be provided to umpires at the outset of each series. …I think the impact could be dramatic. And it’s going to be front and center in the sport as soon as they implement that.
There is no telling at this point how drastic the impact that this will carry across MLB. The general consensus seems to be that the league will hand down 10-game bans for players caught using substances in-game. Given how many pitchers are expected to be using something while on the mound, it could be a wild first couple of weeks with the rule in place.
It’s also not clear what substances will be banned by MLB. Pitchers have a tendency to use a mixture of rosin and sunscreen, which players are both technically allowed to use right now. If the league chooses to ban that as well, it will be interesting to see how it’s policed.
Things are about to get really weird in baseball.