FanDuel - WFBC

October 27, 2006

The Physics of the Goopball: Slate examines the reaction of a baseball pitch to various substances being applied to the ball. Also of note, pitchers don't really consider using pine tar to be cheating very much.

posted by fenriq to baseball at 12:54 PM - 7 comments

I agree that in the vast scheme of things pine tar is pretty small potatoes. Having said that it's still against the rules and I'd rather see a push to make it legal then to keep flouting the rule. The problem with it as it is now is that it's only enforced part time, not that it's illegal in the first place. legalize some pine tar just like rosin is and drop the whole thing.

posted by commander cody at 04:59 PM on October 27

It doesn't really matter if the players are taking it lightly or not. It's cheating. Roger's got away with it. The problem with it as it is now is that it's only enforced part time, not that it's illegal in the first place. legalize some pine tar just like rosin is and drop the whole thing. It has nothing to do with being inforced part time. It has to do with most pitchers not putting a small pile on their hands. And it isn't just like rosin. Use both, they're completely different. How do you legalize it? What's too much? How do you measure too much? Do we really want balls loaded with pinetar being pitched? It's nonsense to put the onus on umpires to decide what is too much. It's illegal, and it should stay illegal. Rogers putting it on his hand is the problem, not the rules.

posted by justgary at 12:01 AM on October 28

justgary, I agree with you, its against the rules and should be enforced. i think MLB mised a huge opportunity in Game 2 to step on the "issue" and squash it. But Selig is a wimp and didn't do anything and SmudgeGate arose. Which has, conveniently for him, become a footnote in the Cards' win.

posted by fenriq at 10:25 AM on October 28

Which has, conveniently for him, become a footnote in the Cards' win. Yep, a game 6 would have been interesting. Oh well.

posted by justgary at 02:45 PM on October 28

Look, guys, I was at games 1 and 2 of the world series in Detroit. I couldn't even figure out what the meeting between the umpires and Larussa was about. The media and some of you are blowing this incident way out of proportion. There isn't a player in the big leagues who doesn't get pine tar all over himself during the game. Kenny Rogers also went on to pitch fabulously in that game. Also, Kenny Rogers was not trying to hide his hand or argue with the umpires.

posted by semmel512 at 04:02 PM on October 28

semmel512, if it weren't against the rules then they wouldn't put it in the rulebook. What's the point of having rules if they are going to be selectively enforced?

posted by fenriq at 07:09 PM on October 28

fenriq, there are reasons why some rules shouldn't be greatly enforced. If the umpire threw Kenny Rogers out of the game, thinl of how the baseball world would respond. The umpires know what they are doing. Also, consider Kenny Roger's point of view. He had already pitched several scoreless innings. He also didn't try to hide his hand.

posted by semmel512 at 10:14 AM on November 06

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