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Umpires Checking For Substances Is Slowing Down Baseball

Substances
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Umpires Checking For Substances Is Slowing Down Baseball

Trevor Bauer warned us this would happen. Umpires are stopping pitchers in their tracks after every inning to check for foreign substances. It is absolutely ridiculous and is digging a deeper hole for the widely-despised MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

Rule 3.01 has been around for a while but umpires are cracking down on foreign substances because of the spin rate advantage they give to pitchers. If caught, the pitcher is ejected immediately and suspended ten games without pay.

Pitchers hate the new rules, especially the new authority of managers to ask for opposing pitchers to be checked for foreign substances unlimited times, and the rule has already led to controversy.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi requested a mid-inning to check Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer for banned substances, but he was clean, and Girardi received backlash across the league, as many believed it was done to rattle Scherzer. Nats outfielder Kyle Schwarber called it “a little bush league.”

Oakland reliever Sergio Romo demonstrated his opposition to the new rule by dropping his pants to his thighs in protest, and a few other pitchers have also expressed their disgruntlement.

The situation should calm down in time, but the addition of this entirely new practice is too sudden – nobody in the league was given enough time to prepare. At the end of the day, this is Manfred’s fault. He wants to speed up the game, yet the foreign substance checks slow it down even more. Girardi literally called for it in the MIDDLE OF THE INNING.

On a broader spectrum, the popularity of baseball may decline as well. Why are pitchers facing stricter rules and regulations after the 2017 Houston Astros cheated their way to a World Series title and got away scot-free? Just more evidence that Manfred is the worst commissioner in MLB history and needs to be replaced.

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