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A New York Mets media member asked first baseman Pete Alonso for his thoughts on the MLB becoming more strict about pitchers using illegal, sticky substances to improve their grip on the baseball Thursday.
He nodded his head yes and seemed eager to answer the question. The former Florida star didn’t agree with the MLB’s decision to crack down on pitchers using illegal substances.
“Since the start of the game, pitchers have been using ‘substances’—I mean, there’s a bag of rosin behind the mound right now to help guys dry their hands and get grip,” Alonso said, according to Sports Illustrated. “For me, I think whether they’re using pine tar, rosin, Bullfrog, sunscreen and rosin, whatever they want to use to help control the ball, let them use it. Because for me, I go in the box every single day and I see guys throwing harder and harder every day. I don’t want 99 slipping out of someone’s hand because they didn’t have enough feel for it.”
The MLB will reportedly implement a more strict plan of enforcement this month with this issue. Umpires can issue routine and checks for any illegal substances during games.
Alonso then pivoted and took his answer in a different direction.
He told reporters before New York’s game against the Orioles that he believes that the league has altered baseballs on a yearly basis based on the following offseason’s free agency class to limit player’s earning power before they become available on the open market.
“The biggest concern is that Major League Baseball manipulates the baseballs year in and year out depending on the free agency class, or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration,” Alonso said. “So I do think that’s a big issue … Maybe if the league didn’t change the baseball, pitchers wouldn’t need to use as much sticky stuff.”
He also claimed that there are other players who share his view about changing the baseball.
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