Baseball's sticky situation

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Matt's Take:

Perhaps the Milwaukee Brewer's Will Smith and Baltimore Orioles Brian Matusz are concerned about tan lines?

As a resident of the Sunshine State, I can relate. Nothing is worse than spending time in the sun and realizing you missed a spot when you put on your sunscreen.

Or perhaps they were trying to get a competitive advantage? Both pitchers were recently busted for using a combination of sunscreen and rosin while on the mound.

Smith and Matusz were both suspended eight games for the incidents.

When you look at most pitchers in MLB, these are guys who are trying to grip it and rip it, so I'm sure a little rosin helps with their grip. Sure, it's not really a big deal, right?

I mean, the hitters use pine tar on their bats and heck, a rosin bag sits on the ground on the back side of the pitcher's mound.

This isn't a Joe Niekro situation where the guy has a piece of sandpaper in his back pocket.

So what’s the big deal about a "sticky" substance on their arm? Well, one  might say it's cheating.

OK, technically, yes, it's cheating since baseball has rules against such action. But, that doesn't mean it makes sense.

If a pitcher has a better grip on the ball, perhaps he should have better control. Better control may mean that less balls "get away" from them, in turn injuring opposing batters.

Just a thought.

At the end of the day, a rule's a rule. But in this case, the rule needs to be changed. 

Andrew’s Take:

I wonder if there’s a correlation between SPF and MPH.

Two Major League pitchers have been suspended in less than a week, and the topic of “foreign substances,” is now hot.

Well, let’s call it “re-heated.”

Will Smith of the Milwaukee Brewers and Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles each received 8-game suspensions for sticky substances they were using to enhance their throws.

This isn’t new. Anyone close to the game will tell you that pitchers have been smuggling substances on-their-person since the game’s inception.

Let’s make one thing clear: Everyone knows. The players, coaches, administrators and umpires all know that the guys on the mound less-than-covertly use a variety of matter to add zip to their pitches. Everyone can see it happening, and it only becomes an issue when managers get catty. It’s comparable to one neighbor calling the housing association because another neighbor has an “unapproved” basketball hoop.

The MLB has two logical options. One: Crack down on pitchers. Two: Make these tactics legal.

But baseball isn’t going to approach this logically. Like every other systematic problem, they’re just going to ride it out and hope it goes away. And that makes ZERO sense.

Since the League started their steroid witch-hunt, their perceived moneymaker, home runs, has declined significantly. This is the perfect opportunity to put more balls in the bleachers. Enforce your rules, make things harder on the pitchers and start counting the dough.

Personally, I prefer the later solution. I don’t need bunch of home runs to find the game interesting, and it would continue on, basically unchanged.

Ultimately I’m saying that the League just needs to make a decision.

But they won’t. It would take the collective protest of enough fans to hurt the pocket books of the owners, but we’re going to keep watching. More revenue is being generated today than ever before, and I’m contributing to the problem.

Did I just take the blame for baseball’s culture of corruption?