MLB to crack down on doctoring baseballs

Jul 9, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; A view of official Rawlings Major League Baseballs used for batting practice prior to the game of the Detroit Tigers against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball will crack down on the use of foreign substances to doctor baseballs this season, according to a memo distributed to all 30 teams and obtained by ESPN.

The league plans to inspect balls taken out of play, analyze spin-rate data and increase monitoring of dugouts and clubhouses, per the report.

The use of substances like pine tar or petroleum jelly can boost the spin rate of a ball when it leaves a pitcher’s hand, making it more difficult for a hitter to make solid contact.

According to the memo, a third-party lab will inspect balls taken out of play if they show signs of tampering. Game-day compliance officers will also inspect dugouts, batting cages and bullpens for rules violations and will file daily reports with the league office.

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–Field Level Media