Trevor Bauer criticizes MLB approach to cracking down on foreign substances: “No one knows what the rules are right now”
Trevor Bauer is not happy with the way MLB is starting to control foreign substances on baseballs.
The league recently informed teams that it plans to crack down on pitchers who tamper with baseballs.
However, Bauer took issue with the league’s implementation of the process and acknowledged that the rules are not clear to pitchers, managers and umpires.
“We’ve heard a whole bunch of stuff and it’s always changing from day to day,” Bauer said, by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. “Nobody knows what the rules are right now, apparently including MLB and the commissioner, so it would be nice as players to know which rules we are competing against and which rules are going to be enforced because like everyone else knows, a written rule that is never applied is not a rule.
“So it would be nice to have a clear idea of the rules of the game we’re playing under, so that’s changed about four times in the last week.”
To be clear, Bauer is not opposed to the rule. He just wants to make sure that everything runs fairly throughout the league. And he doesn’t feel like the league figured out how to do that.
“I just want to compete on a level playing field. I’ll say it again,” Bauer said. “That’s the main thing all along. Let everyone compete on a level playing field. So if you want to apply it, apply it. And if you aren’t, stop doing it. sweep it under the rug, that’s what they’ve been doing for four years now.
“So I just wish everyone could compete on a level playing field so that we can see who the best players are and who is the best team, according to the given rules and the given application of the rules.”
Bauer is certainly right, as MLB has been, generally, slow to change and adapt to the issues it faces. As such, the league is trying to implement a procedural change mid-season, which creates confusion.
Things will work out eventually, but as the crackdown begins, pitchers may see their performance drop slightly as their turnover rates drop.
Although Bauer has denied having tampered with baseballs with foreign substances in the past, he allowed a top 10 baserunners against the Braves and three earned runs in six innings of work.
Could it be just a coincidence? Surely.
Nonetheless, it’s going to be something to watch league-wide over the next few weeks. And some of the league’s top pitchers are going to experience bumps in the road as referees begin to enforce a rule that has long been largely ignored.