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Amazing Video on pitchers cheating in MLB

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8 hours ago, Ruzious said:

I'm not sure why people are trying to rationalize this away.  It's a real problem.  Spin rates have never increased like this before, and it appears to be because of the new substances.  It's a legit reaction by MLB to try to stop it.  And if teams are really supplying this stuff to their players, there should be severe penalties.  

 

5 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

?

How many years do we have spin rate information for?

How long have these "new" substances been available?

How long have pitching staffs been trying to increase spin rate?

 

1 hour ago, Sports Guy said:

I have always found it amusing that we can talk Gaylord Perry cheating and we laugh about it.  That we can talk about Mays, Aaron and others taking greenies and act like it’s no big deal.

But when the modern player does it, it’s some travesty to the sport.

 

46 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

I don't know that it's obvious or inevitable that pitchers would go from rosin to sunscreen to Spider Tack to industrial epoxy and that each step continues to increase spin rates.  It's not like everyone had reams of data on how added grip of various types changes spin rates.  For all we know there's a line where it's so sticky/tacky that it makes it impossible to throw effective pitches, and in 2016 or 2018 I don't know that anyone outside of the pitching community had any idea where that line was.  

Continuing Frobby's analogy, if everyone is going 59 in a 55 in 2016 do you have a massive crackdown by the highway cops because it doesn't take a genius to know by 2021 everyone will be going 110?

The video is unsettling.  It seems clear that everyone is using something and that there are some that are getting better results.  But there is one question that isn't raised and that is this.  Where does the analysts of baseball land here?  In other words...Is this the result of individual players making a choice or is this being driven by front offices using statistics and then chemicals to achieve results?

It may be natural here to see this like steroids.  Everyone knew and sort of turned their eyes away until they didn't.  But here, it is possible that the most advanced teams could be driving this.  So for instance when Detroit traded for an aging Justin Verlander and he immediately became a CY pitcher again, was this a tweak to physical act or tweak of chemicals?

I dont' know...but it seems MLB has had enough and that is probably a good thing.  Still, I just can't help thinking how much I liked MLB going after steroids and then how sick to my stomach I was when Raffy was nailed.

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5 minutes ago, foxfield said:

 

 

 

The video is unsettling.  It seems clear that everyone is using something and that there are some that are getting better results.  But there is one question that isn't raised and that is this.  Where does the analysts of baseball land here?  In other words...Is this the result of individual players making a choice or is this being driven by front offices using statistics and then chemicals to achieve results?

It may be natural here to see this like steroids.  Everyone knew and sort of turned their eyes away until they didn't.  But here, it is possible that the most advanced teams could be driving this.  So for instance when Detroit traded for an aging Justin Verlander and he immediately became a CY pitcher again, was this a tweak to physical act or tweak of chemicals?

I dont' know...but it seems MLB has had enough and that is probably a good thing.  Still, I just can't help thinking how much I liked MLB going after steroids and then how sick to my stomach I was when Raffy was nailed.

It seems clear that coaches are at least saying "hey, you might get some better results with something on your hands."  And if that's coming out publicly you can be sure that some teams/coaches are pretty explicitly saying stuff like "you're not long for this league without some Spider Tack."

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22 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

It seems clear that coaches are at least saying "hey, you might get some better results with something on your hands."  And if that's coming out publicly you can be sure that some teams/coaches are pretty explicitly saying stuff like "you're not long for this league without some Spider Tack."

And if the teams are actually developing their own substances to get the most effective ones for their players and distributing them to their players, that makes it an enormous problem that can't be ignored.  

And whether or not they should have done something about it before doesn't really matter, because we can't change the past.  We can change the present and future.  

 

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8 minutes ago, Ruzious said:

And if the teams are actually developing their own substances to get the most effective ones for their players and distributing them to their players, that makes it an enormous problem that can't be ignored.  

And whether or not they should have done something about it before doesn't really matter, because we can't change the past.  We can change the present and future.  

 

I lost respect for the players in the steroid era.  I understand the mindset of an elite athlete to do those sorts of things, but if ML:B hadn't enabled it by not enforcing the rules they already had then it would have been of a shorter duration or may have been stamped out altogether. 

The fact that clubs are potentially pursuing measures to outright cheat, is indeed shocking.  But once again, by not enforcing rules and allowing practices that should not be allowed MLB sort of endorse the "crime" and encourage it.  

The only thing MLB has ever stuck to is the Pete Rose ban.  Everything else they have been wishy-washy on or outright ignored, at least initially.  I think they are definitely more hard-line on performance enhancers now and it probably scares a good portion of players away from such things. 

They'll need to have similar backbone with this ball doctoring problem now.  I say good, but it's not like they haven't known what's going on.  Maybe it's just reached critical mass...

Edited by drjohnnyfeva
spelling

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11 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

What did the baseball execs think would happen?  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where things would end up.

I think it's a combination of the spike in strikeouts, the lower average, and the obvious data available to everyone via statcast that shows the increase in spin rates since 2018. Did baseball execs know Bauer was going to create his super goo that was going to change him as a pitcher? 

I think most execs and others knew pitchers have been doing it for a long time, but it never got to the point where it made these crazy movement curveballs and sliders. 

I'm not thrilled with them in the middle of the season suddenly start enforcing this in anything other than the most obvious cases. I'd rather them go back this offseason and make it part of the collective bargaining agreement that spells out penalties.

Trust me, I 100% agree that MLB is led by mostly imbeciles and that they make knee-jerk decisions based on emotion rather than facts, but I think the amount of high profiles hitters claiming they were going to spill the beans forced their hands a bit here.

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11 hours ago, OsFanSinceThe80s said:

 

Players are going to keep pushing the limit and gaming the system when MLB refuses to enforce the rules or looks the other way. Especially when 8 and 9 figure contracts are involved and awarded to the best of the best players. 

I'm not surprised by this at all and anyone who remembers the steroid era shouldn't be either. 

Absolutely. Bauer was able to work a $38 million a year contract thanks to his sticky stuff that changed his stuff to the point he was dominant. With most pitchers cheating, who wouldn't cheat better than the others and collect that paycheck?

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3 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

You say " Spin rates have never increased like this before" and then you want me to provide data supporting your statement?  That isn't how it works.

You made a frankly unprovable assertion. 

We have very limited access to historic spin rates.   How much did spin increase when pitchers were first allowed to throw overhand?  According to you, less than the Age of Spider Tack.

Is this an issue that needs to be addressed?  Sure.  I wanted to address it years ago.

What I'm saying is that MLB knew about this and ignored it a very long time. 

Just like the steroids and sign stealing events they let this crap sit and simmer instead of just taking care of it.

The video, had you watched it all, showed how much spin rates have increased since 2018.

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Just now, Tony-OH said:

The video, had you watched it all, showed how much spin rates have increased since 2018.

Right...but we don't have much historic spin rate data to compare it to. 

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1 minute ago, Tony-OH said:

I think it's a combination of the spike in strikeouts, the lower average, and the obvious data available to everyone via statcast that shows the increase in spin rates since 2018. Did baseball execs know Bauer was going to create his super goo that was going to change him as a pitcher? 

I think most execs and others knew pitchers have been doing it for a long time, but it never got to the point where it made these crazy movement curveballs and sliders. 

I'm not thrilled with them in the middle of the season suddenly start enforcing this in anything other than the most obvious cases. I'd rather them go back this offseason and make it part of the collective bargaining agreement that spells out penalties.

Trust me, I 100% agree that MLB is led by mostly imbeciles and that they make knee-jerk decisions based on emotion rather than facts, but I think the amount of high profiles hitters claiming they were going to spill the beans forced their hands a bit here.

He had done it before. 

Trevor-Bauers-FourSeam-Spin-Rate.png

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50 minutes ago, foxfield said:

I thought Cole's answer was helpful.  He didn't deny, he didn't accuse, he didn't complain.  I still hate the Yankees, but I give Cole two thumbs up on the answer.

His answer was actually very good. Basically he told the 100% truth. He said if MLB wants to legislate this more then they can have that conversation. This is something that has been done for a long time. It's just now that players have found some substances that have significantly helped their spin rates and has now affected the games balance.

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I watched the video and I think its half good reporting based on statistics and half terrible speculation without sources.

What is interesting about baseball is the amount of information (statistics, metrics, measurements) we get out of the game.  It is almost unmatched in any other sport.  We know exactly where the ball is and we know how much it has moved.  

Baseball is also a sport with a lot of money, and a lot of highly driven, very skilled individuals.  This creates a triumvirate: Money, Information, Drive.

Given these three factors, it's not surprising that baseball players are optimizing performance at increasing speeds.  Adaptation happens quickly.  In competitive online gaming they would call it metagaming where there is even more money and more data.  Tax lawyers get paid a lot of money to figure out what the edge of competitive advantage/ legality is and push it a little further.  It happens basically anywhere you see these three things, and especially in competitive environments. 

I don't doubt that there are foreign substances being used in baseball, there always have been and always will be.  I also think that if safety is being compromised they need to do something about it.  And if the competitive balance of the game is in peril they should certainly do something about it.

Here is where I have some issues.  First, major league baseball bought Rawlings, changed the ball without knowing what it would do, HR increased, they didn't like it and then changed it again for this year.  MLB doesn't have a great track record in knowing what their changes will do.  Before anyone goes throwing around words like "Cheater" because some guy gained 50 rpm on his fastball, they probably need to figure out what the change to the ball alone (without substances) has lead to.

Second, spin rate doesn't really matter unless it leads to movement, and while the video did show some graphs on movement it also generalizes that to every player instead of looking at movement changes among individual players.  I have posted before that I don't think the movement changes for Means are out of line so I would level some criticism at the blanket charges this video is making.

Having looked at movement rate for other pitchers however I do think there is merit for investigation and look forward to seeing what MLB will do.  They can't really afford another cheating scandal right now.

 

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5 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

He had done it before. 

Trevor-Bauers-FourSeam-Spin-Rate.png

I know your posting style, but you are bordering on the obtuse at this point. This chart shows EXACTLY what I'm talking about. The increase SINCE 2018 is the issue. You are quickly turning into an ignore poster because you refuse to have decent conversations with people. You did not watch the whole video or did not pay close enough attention because many of your concerns or questions are addressed in the well done and researched piece.

 

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3 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

I know your posting style, but you are bordering on the obtuse at this point. This chart shows EXACTLY what I'm talking about. The increase SINCE 2018 is the issue. You are quickly turning into an ignore poster because you refuse to have decent conversations with people. You did not watch the whole video or did not pay close enough attention because many of your concerns or questions are addressed in the well done and researched piece.

 

What the chart shows is that Bauer showed MLB exactly what the substance was capable of doing, in 2019.  MLB then decided to do nothing about it.

They had two offseasons in which they could have partnered up with the Player's Association and decided on a course of action.

They chose not to.

Now it's mid-season and suddenly it needs to be fixed right now.

That's my issue.  They knew it had been going on.  They had evidence handed to them showing them exactly how big an impact it was having and they still waited.

They should have cracked down on Pine Tar decades ago, or changed the rules to allow it...whichever.  They should have cracked down on the second generation Bullfrog/Rosin combo.  They chose not to.  They should have taken the data Bauer handed them and done something in the 2019-2020 offseason.  They chose not to.

Now they are probably going to go forward with something without properly involving the PA months before the expiration of the current CBA.  All the while bemoaning the actions they were fully aware of.

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