MLB will screen pitchers during games to catch cheaters using banned substances to alter baseballs

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MLB will screen pitchers during games to catch cheaters using banned substances to alter baseballs
MLB: Houston Astros at Boston Red SoxReuters
  • Major League Baseball announced new checks on Tuesday meant to deter pitchers from doctoring baseballs.
  • Pitchers will be screened between innings and or during pitching changes.
  • If caught, cheaters will be immediately ejected and suspended for 10 games.

The MLB announced on Tuesday that it will institute new checks on pitchers in the leagues to make sure they aren't using banned substances to doctor baseballs.

In a statement, the MLB said the checks will take place between innings or during pitching changes. Players will be immediately ejected and suspended for 10 games if they are caught.

Pitchers have used tacky substances to improve their grip on the ball, something hiding the illicit material on the brim of their hats or inside their gloves.

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"After an extensive process of repeated warnings without effect, gathering information from current and former players and others across the sport, two months of comprehensive data collection, listening to our fans and thoughtful deliberation, I have determined that new enforcement of foreign substances is needed to level the playing field," Commissioner Rob Manfred said.

"I understand there's a history of foreign substances being used on the ball, but what we are seeing today is objectively far different, with much tackier substances being used more frequently than ever before," he added. "It has become clear that the use of foreign substance has generally morphed from trying to get a better grip on the ball into something else - an unfair competitive advantage that is creating a lack of action and an uneven playing field."

Banned substances include "oil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sandpaper, emery paper, or other foreign substance," per rule 3.01, players also cannot use tape, bandaids, or anything else on their hand, wrist, or fingers.

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