Does MLB Fear Cheating Pitchers More Than Cheating Hitters? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The sport of baseball is about to try to clean itself up and take out what it considers to be its biggest threat, cheating pitchers. Pitchers, as Major League Baseball just figured out, have been using foreign substances to enhance their grip, increase their spin rates, and strike out more hitters than ever before; a trend that is a decade old and continuing in 2021. The question many fans both causal and hardcore are asking is why MLB is going so hard after cheating pitchers when it didn’t care about cheating hitters during the steroid era.
Major League Baseball is about to enforce its rules regarding foreign substances on baseballs the way Senator Joe McCarthy enforced patriotism on Americans during the Cold War. The way some in baseball are talking, the use of foreign substances like Spider Tack is a larger threat to the American way of life than communism was in the 1950’s when Joe McCarthy held his hearing. The question some are asking however, is why? The answer is all about the bottom line, money.
Think about this: What have sports like basketball, hockey and football all done in recent years to their rulebook? They have all made it easier for players to score, why, because fans want to see more scoring in the sports they watch, and just as importantly, gamble on. From daily and season-long fantasy sports to the fan who drops a twenty on the “over” for a game they are watching or attending, everyone wants to see action in their games, and offense in any sport does just that.
It is this concept, along with the cancelation of the 1994 World Series, that saw Major League Baseball turn their backs on the steroid use of Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds. Fans wanted to see home runs, and fans enjoyed seeing more runs scored on a day in, day out basis.
Not as many people were upset when games were four hours long twenty years ago, because the final scores were high. Now, in 2021, it might take three and half hours to play a 2-1 game because there are so many strikeouts, walks and little hitting, with just a two-run blast besting a solo shot.
After running on the numbers, Major League Baseball has figured out that most pitchers have increased their spin rates in recent years. Since this is not something that pitchers normally do naturally, those who run the game have decided that it is only happening because pitchers are using foreign substances to make themselves better, something that, when done in mass, is bad, not good for Major League Baseball. This belief is supported by lower ratings since fans are not going to watch long games with low scores too often.
With so many teams involved in owning their own Regional Sports Networks, how well a team performs in the ratings is just as important as how they perform on the field itself. With fans running away from the game and baseball unable to lure a younger audience, it is no wonder that with their newfound evidence, they are about to drop the hammer on cheating pitchers. Just remember, however, that while social media may enjoy “No Hitter Alerts,” most fans don’t want to sit through three-hour low scoring two hitters, which happen much more frequently than the six no-hitters seen this season.
In short, fans have spoken with their actions, and Major League Baseball is acting by trying to eliminate cheaters from the mound. Only time will tell if it will work and fans will come back to watch more line drives in defensive shifts, or if more drastic measures will need to be taken later this year.
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Does MLB Fear Cheating Pitchers More Than Cheating Hitters? | TooAthletic.com
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