In the coming days, Major League Baseball will send an appointment to the teams detailing the existing rules against the use of foreign substances on baseball and how the league will plan to enforce these rules going forward, Buster Olney on ESPN.com report. The official order to the referees is scheduled to arrive around June 21, since, according to a source in the league, “It would be fantastic if we could get their clean up before they actually start enforcing the rule. .The application hasn’t even started because all parties involved want to give pitchers time to adapt. ”
With so much focus and controversy surrounding the issue of illegal substances, there has already been some indication that this pressure could have an impact on the field. (To name two high-profile examples, Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole to get had recent drops in their turnover rates.) It’s safe to assume that MLB would prefer to avoid the spectacle of suspending more pitchers or even a pitcher to play baseball, but the league also plans to take a firm hand in the event of a violation of the rules. As another source tells Olney, “No one wants to see suspensions. But it will happen if someone comes up with something.”
The most visible application of the rule comes in the form of on-the-spot checks, as referees will do anywhere from eight to 10 checks per game to look for any foreign substance – essentially anything that applies to a baseball, except for the colophony – both for the pitchers and for the position players, with the idea that a position player could secretly hide something from his teammate on the mound. As far as “visible” these checks will be for fans who are not present at the dance stage, the referees will be able to conduct their checks between innings, when there is already a natural pause in the action.
Olney’s piece also contains the interesting (and perhaps unfortunate) fact that MLB and the players ’union didn’t have much direct communication about the foreign substance situation. “Much like foreign husbands who speak through a mutual friend,” Olney notes that the league and the MLBPA have discussed the issue using the arbitrators ’union as an intermediary. After last year’s dispute over the abbreviated season and the lack of an agreement on a universal DH this past season, it’s the last note of discord between the league and the players, which certainly doesn’t bode well for them. going into CBA discussions this winter.