can not continue.
Major League Baseball’s attempt to legalize illegal substances on the shooting body and outside the game could not get through its first full night of games before turning into sideshows, head games, head games and art shows.
Start with the ridiculous challenge from Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi to future Hall of Fame member Max Shearzer – the first skipper to touch this third hurdle of stripping an opposition bowler without significant potential cause – and go on with dozens and dozens of post-round searches, capped by Sergio Romo’s striptease, and an idea comes up my mind.
This is the worst possible development of the game.
Oh, the intention is noble. Much like the so-called age of doping, the desire of great bowlers to rub the most sinister substances in each other in order to spin the ball like spinning plates of a Greek waiter has spoiled the game. From homemade concoctions that transform any tone into a stick and rotate script.
But not like that.
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When a bowler is stopped and searched—or the manager requests an additional examination in good faith or in bad faith—an undeniable signal is sent to both enthusiastic and casual fans:
This game is over.
What about your favorite bowler? We think there’s a good chance he’s cheating.
There are many ways to clean sports. We found out on Tuesday night that doing this in public wasn’t one of them. The slow flow of the steroid era, which spanned nearly two decades, certainly wasn’t fun. However, the player was never asked to provide a urine sample between innings.
Just two days after MLB’s strict enforcement of bans on foreign materials, you almost wanted the game back in the shadows. After all, the game’s offensive futility didn’t go away because Pine Tar and its clingy cousins were in the crossfire. Record Tuesday’s record 3-0, 2-1, 3-2, 5-0, 3-0.
No, just because sunscreen and pine tar have been wiped out doesn’t mean the pitch will suddenly tilt toward the hitters. So it’s tempting to think, let the kids splash.
Then you look at Gerrit Cole’s turnover.
The $324 million Yankees man came under fire after he didn’t deny his use of the Spider Tack. On Tuesday, in its first departure since the crackdown, it continued the recent massive downward trend in its turnover. Cole’s lead is down 364 rpm from his season average of 15%. His fast ball was at 245 rpm, and his index was at 243.
These are what we might call statistically significant reductions. Right now, we don’t really know why. But it is certainly in the game’s best interest to get rid of the most offensive material and find out.
Cole did well against Kansas City—seven innings, two wins, six hits—but he wasn’t anywhere near a man who hit nearly 13 hitters in each half since 2018, when he was traded to the Houston Astros and promoted to player of the match. The most dominant shooter.
Like Cole, Scherzer was named in a lawsuit brought by Bubba Harkins, the former director of the Angels Club, as the bowler who ordered boxes of the homemade sticky stuff from Harkins. If nothing else, Girardi had a good idea that Scherzer – who made five good runs in a potential 3-2 win – might have a hard time getting rid of the sticky stuff.
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The Phillies manager claimed that in a decade of striving against Scherzer, he had never seen him get his hair done between throws.
Gerardi insisted: “I don’t play games.” “I respect the people out there and I respect what Max does.”
Scherzer hit all the high marks with only rage, claiming that a colder night in Philadelphia forced him to sweat from his head, and not from his mouth or other parts of his body, to mingle with the state-provided colony.
“I don’t want to eat rosin. It tastes disgusting,” he said.
A surprise inspection?
“I’ll take off all my clothes if you want to see me.” “
Was Gerardi well-meaning?
“I must be totally stupid to use something tonight when everyone’s antenna is really loud and looking for nothing.” “
These are all valid sequels, but, like Scherzer’s concern about a sliding shot that could have hit Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm, they don’t do much to prove or disprove anything.
Bring on the summer of scam calls.
“We were dumb as hitters, like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s for control. We just don’t want them to hit us. “It was an escape,” said Caps Slugger and commented free agent Chris Bryant. “I’d love for things to go the other way. If we get hurt, we get a basic ratio.
The back-and-forth used up so much oxygen on a famous night that Wonder Franco debuted in wrecking style, hitting a running triathlon and making it to base three times at the Tampa Bay Rays. That alone should be alarming for the MLB.
So what now?
Well, we found out how difficult it is to turn decades of accepted practice almost mid-season on its head. Reasonable solutions exist—one standardized and approved substance, possibly global legalization of pine tar—but perhaps none of them can be achieved halfway.
There will be more Gerardi Scherzer dust. At some point, a jug can be grabbed, thrown, and hung. And if the director’s request to inspect the shooter reveals that there is no contraband, that captain should be subject to “the fallout,” as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw suggests,
jugs vs. Hitters vs. Managers vs. MLB is not what the fans came for. It is clear that no matter what justice is done, and no matter what the shooters expose as frauds, the massive distraction and disruption of the sport will not be worth it.
And perhaps the Scherzer saga speeds up this system in the game’s trash, the New Coke app.
“I hope,” Scherzer said. “And I hope the league players understand that what we are doing now is not the answer.”
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