New York Mets’ Hurler: MLB Baseballs Have This Major League Issue
The New York Mets have a problem, and not even more cowbell could solve this one.
The Mets' issue goes directly to the top of Major League Baseball. Including Wednesday afternoon's game, the Mets led the league in being hit by pitches as an offense. They were hit three times alone in Tuesday's game, something that Mets' starting pitcher Chris Bassitt took exception to.
Bassitt spoke to the media following Tuesday's game, and spoke freely about issues facing the Mets that are created by Major League Baseball as an entity.
Here's what he had to say, according to an article published by ESPN:
"It's extremely annoying to see your teammates constantly get hit, and if you get hit by certain pitches it is what it is, but to get hit in the head the amount that we're getting hit is unbelievable," Bassitt said. "I had some close calls tonight, and I've been hit in the face [by a line drive] and I don't want to do that to anybody ever, but MLB has a very big problem with the baseballs. They're bad. Everyone in the league knows it. Every pitcher knows it. They're bad." - Chris Bassitt
Bassitt makes an interesting point, and something that was spoken about very frequently after "sticky stuff" was banned from the game of baseball. Baseballs are smooth, and despite having seems, are inherently slick. Add in sweat, or any kind of precipitation, and it makes gripping the baseball that much harder. Now, try to throw it between 90 and 100 MPH, with movement, to a hitter standing 60 feet away from you.
It can create a very precarious situation, and this situation is part of why Bassitt was angered.
He follows up this point with another one, however, saying that individual baseballs used in MLB games are different from one another. He implies that not only is it harder to grasp the ball without any "help", but that even when you do grip it, it may be different than the last ball you threw.
Personally, I understand why illegal substances were banned from the game. Pine tar isn't supposed to be used by pitchers, and neither is spider tack. However, if you're able to get a better grip using legal substances (an example being rosin and sunscreen), then why is that also being cracked down upon?
I know it would be nearly impossible to differentiate between legal and illegal during an in-game substance check, but the numbers speak for themselves: hitters are in danger far more often than they were before.
Chris Bassitt may have a point, and Major League Baseball may need to start looking at a logical middle ground.