Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the MLB has confiscated baseballs from a Trevor Bauer start for inspection.
If you follow Trevor Bauer in any form or fashion, this should come as no surprise. He has said that he was sure the MLB would do this at some point.
The MLB is trying to be very proactive against any foreign substances being used to a pitcher’s advantage. It is no secret that pitchers around the league use pine tar on a daily basis, and I don’t think you’ll find many hitters that have a problem with it. Former Oakland A’s pitcher and Starting 9 co-host Dallas Braden has been on record multiple times saying how common it is. Even infielders and catchers have pine tar on them to either help them when they make throws or get it on the ball for their own pitchers.
How do you think a ball could have stuck to Yadier Molina’s chest…
Everybody had a great laugh and talked about how this is so funny for Yadi, completely ignoring the fact that he must have had an absurd amount of pine tar on his chest protector. If there hasn’t been a big group of hitters upset about pitchers using pine tar, then I see no reason to be up in arms about it.
The Real Issue
If the balls that the MLB are investigating come back to have something other than pine tar on it, then we have a real problem. Bauer is coming off winning the 2020 NL Cy Young Award and signing a massive three-year, $102 million deal with the Dodgers. If it is something other than pine tar, he should be suspended and discredited of his award. It is no different than a player using a performance enhancing drug, because it is essentially the same thing. He is still using something to enhance his pitches, and enhance his overall play.
I hope that if it is only pine tar, we hear nothing else about it. It really wouldn’t be a big deal then. That said, if it is something else, I would like to see him punished for it.