MLB Breaking News: Pine Tar Is On The Field; Sky Is Blue
New Mayor League Baseball edict: we’re going to allow foreign substances on the field, but not for you pitchers. You must scrub your hands like you’re Macbeth and you just wacked three people.
Pop quiz time!
Question 1: Pitchers and hitters both:
A.) are on the field at the same time
B.) have access to pine tar
C.) get the pine tar on their hands
D.) none of the above.
If you answered “D”, congratulations, you will be considered for the next position within MLB’s security team. If you answered “A”, “B” or “C” you are hereby suspected of being a witch or maybe a sorcerer. If you answered “Hey! There should be an ‘E’ option!”… whoa. Mind blown.
A so-called “scandal” has “rocked” MLB after some hard-hitting research by Mrs. Northblatt’s Lake of the Lemurs Elementary School Third Graders. in a slide show entitled, “Pitchers and Other Players Are in the Stadium at the Same Time” the Lemurs uncovered some real truth: baseball fields have sticky and slimy stuff available to them… and they’re both perfectly legal.
This latest “scandal” comes at a convenient time as MLB is trying to explain away the sudden surge in spin rates/mph, while ignoring the change in the way the balls are manufactured. The “discovery” that pine tar is used by pitchers to get a grip on a shiny baseball provides a convenient scapegoat for those responsible for the shiny ball part (Ahem. MLB. Ahem. Rawlings). This scapegoat is much like the actual goat that was in the bar but smoking a cigar and playing darts when the supposed “curse” was placed on the Chicago Cubs.
Similarly, MLB has been shocked (Doubly Shocked!) to learn that pitchers use sunscreen. That, combined, with the startling knowledge that ballplayers sweat has sent MLB on a full scale operation to stop the pervasive use of sunscreen and mandate full-body anti-perspirant. The new public service campaign will have the catch phrase, “Be cool like cancer, no ball sweat.” The logo still needs some fine tuning, but the preliminary renderings have a large, smiling melanoma crushing a can of pine tar with one hand while applying a white paste to its armpit.
And as far as the pine tar goes, pitchers will be under greater scrutiny by security, who will be stationed in the dugout and will begin this conversation shortly:
“Sorry, Mr. Kershaw, you’re not allowed near the bat rack. You might come in contact with some pine tar.”
“But, I’m due up,” Kershaw would reply. “Are you going to hit for me?”
“No, sir,” the employee will reply. “That will happen next year in the 13th inning after hitters will be forced to run to third base first under MLB’s new set of guidelines to speed up the game.”
“But I’ve already had to bat twice in extra innings with the bases loaded because opposing pitchers walked a third of the team to get. And why did they do that? To get to me because of your stupid new runner-on-second rule,” the future Hall-of-Famer will reply.
“Sorry sir. Common sense and discussion of our past failures have no place in this conversation.”
Seriously. Baseball has allowed foreign substances on the field for decades… and now has hutzpah to blame the players for using the substances that are on the field. It’s ludicrous. If you don’t want pine tar on the ball or the bat or the player or the player’s hat, then don’t allow it on the field. Have you seen Kershaw’s hat at the end of a season? It violates health and safety codes in six states. My loathing of Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and other dirt bags is well-chronicled. Those players used substances not found on a ball field. This latest “scandal” hardly meets that threshold as the materials are readily available for anyone to use. I mean, really. All Kershaw has to do is go slap Justin Turner on the back and he has enough for three innings.
But MLB will continue its “Just Say No To Pine Tar” campaign as it suspends White Sox minor leaguers and tries to make us forget that the last headline featuring “suspension” and “pine tar” was 2014.
Unfairness is the standard of cheating. Having something on your hand that the league provided you does not seem to meet that criteria.