Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
As expected, Major League Baseball officially released their plan for cracking down on foreign substances to all 30 teams on Tuesday afternoon, which will officially go into effect with games beginning on June 21st.
In the memo, the league cites Rule 3.01 which states, “no player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper, or other foreign substance.”
According to Ken Rosenthal the league’s memo also states that, “umpires have been instructed to perform checks periodically throughout the game of starting and relief pitchers on both teams.”
Starting pitchers will have more than one mandatory check per game, and each relief pitcher must be checked either at the conclusion of the inning in which he entered the game, or when he is removed from the game, whichever occurs first.
As ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, players found in violation of the rules will be ejected, and suspended in accordance to past precedent – 10 games. During that 10 game suspension, teams may not replace that player on the roster.
Additionally, if a player other than the pitcher is found to have applied a foreign substance to the ball, both the position player and the pitcher will be ejected and automatically suspended. Team personnel who help violate the rules or fail to report violations will also be subject to fines or suspension.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said in the memo, “We have a responsibility to our fans and the generational talent competing on the field to eliminate these substances and improve the game.”
You can read the whole memo released by the league here.
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Sources have confirmed to ESPN’s?Jeff Passan?that Major League Baseball is expected to release their plan for cracking down on foreign substances on Tuesday.
Part of the outline is expected to include that players caught with foreign substances of any kind (including sunscreen mixed with rosin or spider tack) will be suspended for 10-days with pay.
Teams are expected to receive the memo from MLB on Tuesday, but have already been briefed on what’s coming.
Some players are worried that if MLB bans all substances that could be used to grip the ball, that players will be irritated & thrown way off, especially with the recent change in the baseball by MLB and players already adjusting to the new baseballs.
Some players will be forced to re-learn how to grip the ball without using any substances to prepare for this new rule to take effect on June 21.
Knowing that this ruling was on the horizon, some players have told ESPN that they have already switched away from Spider Tack to pine tar, which has also become a controversial product. Some players have completely switched away from using anything as well, and it has proven to affect spin rate and RPM’s of fastballs because of grip issues.
It is expected that the new ruling on foreign substances will officially begin on June 21, and that the specifics will be ironed out between when the memo is released on Tuesday afternoon and then.