The MLB is experiencing a league-wide downturn in batting averages, and for a league that is trying to desperately hard to attract audiences, that spells trouble.
A lot of fans – particularly the younger generations – want to see homeruns. They want to see bases get loaded up, and then unloaded with the swing of a bat. While pitchers duels are sometimes entertaining in their own right, the lack of hitting makes for what many fans would consider to be… well… boring.
The MLB has taken a number of measures to speed up the game, but in 2021 they made a change that dramatically affects pitchers.
While foreign substances have always been illegal, they’ve also been a big part of the game. Pitchers use the sticky substances to get a better grip on the ball, but it also allows them to achieve a higher spin rate. A ball that spins more also moves more, and it becomes much harder for batter’s to get a read on the pitch.
The crackdown hasn’t come without its own backlash. Recently, Tyler Glasnow spoke out on the crackdown, explaining that he believed it contributed to his hand injury. More recently, following his start against the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole was visibly upset while talking about the crackdown.
Needless to say, this take did not sit well with fans. Cole’s emotional reaction to the crackdown had Twitter users picking their eyes up off the floor as they had rolled straight out of their head.
(H/T Jared Carrabis)