Scott Boras, who is among the top agents in baseball, took issue with Major League Baseball cracking down on grip-enhancing substances in a lengthy statement Wednesday.
Boras, who represents the game’s top pitchers, like Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer and Carlos Rodon, said completely doing away with the foreign substances creates a major problem for MLB.
“As former major-league pitcher Brandon McCarthy suggested, MLB knew (as did all GMs, including Michael Hill) that clubs for years have taught pitchers to use a variety of gripping agents. This was the ‘custom and practice’ of all MLB teams and the commissioner’s office was fully aware their technical rule was ignored by them and all MLB teams,” Boras said in a statement to The Athletic.
“Certainly the latest iterations of gripping substances and advances in performance measuring technology illustrate we have gone from the grip ‘freeway’ to the performance enhancing ‘autobahn.’ Everyone agrees limiting legislation is required and the commissioner’s office should have acted years before. There can be a certified gripping agent akin to the distinction between corticosteroids and anabolic steroids when one is considered an aid and the other is defined as performing enhancing yet both are steroidal in form.
“However, to completely abolish gripping agents (other than rosin) creates a major issue as all MLB pitchers were taught (by their respective MLB teams) control of the baseball with the use of gripping substances.
“To suggest pine tar can be used (on bats) by the very same players that play defense is truly an umpire’s conundrum. The pitcher hits using pine tar and is suspended for applying the substance to the baseball, or the position player with pine tar on his throwing hand from the prior at-bat transfers it the ball and then both he and the pitcher are deprived of 10 days of performance for legal use of a permissible substance. The grey divide continues!!!!”
Boras added to the chorus of voices who are taking issue with MLB’s guidance.
MLB threatened a 10-game suspension for any pitcher or position player caught with any kind of sticky substance. The new guidance goes into effect Monday.