If there’s anything to know about Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, it’s that he’s not afraid to speak his mind. Bauer has been a longstanding critic of Major League Baseball and its history in rule enforcement, or rather, the lack thereof.
Once it became evident MLB would take action this season, Bauer voiced his dismay with the delayed response and frustration with little clarity being offered. Bauer also dismissed his spin rates dropping in recent starts and said he was pleased with leveling the playing field.
That’s a sentiment Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Justin Turner also shared. Turner additionally called on MLB to be consistent in every facet, which includes composition and construction of baseballs.
Meanwhile, Bauer recently outlined his idea for how the league could better address the issue of foreign substances and baseballs still having enough of a tacky feel for grip, via SportsNet LA:
“The only way to do this is you have to make the ball somewhat sticky and then ban everything, except for rosin or whatever. The way I would like to see it done is to create a machine. For those who don’t know, the balls are rubbed with mud. Before the game, you get a brand new ball, someone takes mud out of a canister and rubs it up, and that supposed to make the ball gripable. Unfortunately, when the ball gets dried out, it gets really slick and powdery because the mud doesn’t stay wet forever obviously.
“What I would like to see is when the balls come out of the box, there’s a little conveyor belt. You dump the balls in one side, they run down the conveyor belt into a little house and it’s sprayed from all sides with an approved substance. The ball comes out the other end, it gets dumped into the ball bucket and it’s good to go for 20 or 30 minutes. You don’t have to spray enough on it for it to get soft or anything like that.
“And you just do it every single inning that way every ball that gets thrown out ha a consistent feel to it. And then when pitchers come in, you swab their hands similar to how they do it at TSA, and you send it off to the lab. If there’s anything besides the approved substances on your hand, then you can be retroactively suspended.”
Bauer added he relayed his concept to the league multiple years ago but never received much feedback.
Bauer exposes potential flaw in MLB’s plan
With MLB now enforcing rules against foreign substances, only permitting rosin to be used and entrusting umpires to police players, Bauer demonstrated how that still could result in confusion.
He did so by getting a baseball to stick to his open palm despite only perspiration and rosin being applied. Bauer noted to an umpire it could appear as though sticky stuff is being used and result in a 10-game suspension.
Teams are not allowed to replace a player on their active roster if he is suspended for foreign substances.
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