I can’t say I had ever heard of Spider Tack before this week. I also don’t think I can imagine a worse response to “have you ever used Spider Tack” than this from Gerrit Cole:
here's gerrit cole's response when asked point blank if he has ever used spider tack, one of the sticky substances baseball is looking to crack down on pic.twitter.com/rKFOksIDoW— Matthew Roberson (@mroberson22) June 8, 2021
It seems that one of baseball’s longest-running dirty little secrets is now making pitchers say “out, damn spot” as they try to get themselves clean before any fallout reaches them. Yes, players are using sticky substances. Yes, they have been for ages. Yes, older generations passed this down to younger ones. It seems strange, now, that this is the hill where MLB has decided to draw a line on conduct.
This will surely be a topic for debate for a long while to come, and it’s one where people will have a lot of varied opinions, so for your reading pleasure, here’s a small sampling of some of those opinions collected in one list.
- Brendan Gawlowski breaks baseball’s newest scandal down for FanGraphs.
- Max Rieper looks at things for our sister site at Royals Review.
- Brittany Ghiroli points at the league itself as being to blame for the mess it’s in now. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Pete Alonso thinks that instead of looking at sticky substances the focus should be on MLB changing the balls according to free agent class, writes Nick Selbe.
- Jeff Passan offers answers to 20 questions related to the scandal.
- Ken Rosenthal says it’s time for MLB to address the situation once and for all. (The Athletic subscription required.)
And now onto the rest of the links!
- RJ McDaniel brings us a guide to how to allow 10 or more runs in less than one inning.
- Michael Shapiro looks into a new book that suggests the Astros’ cheating ways continued into 2019.
- ESPN offers their newest power rankings.
- Tim Kurkjian suggests MLB has an embarrassing baserunning problem.
- Ray Ratto on the other hand believes baserunning is absolutely not baseball’s problem.
- Danielle Cortez, an MLB photographer, is on a mission to make baseball more welcoming to transgender people. Story by Zach Buchanan. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- So... “really” good?
A bad ERA+ is 75.— Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) June 10, 2021
An average ERA+ is 100.
A good ERA+ is 125.
Jacob deGrom’s ERA+ is 626.
- Russell A. Carleton asks the biggest, hardest question of all: “why is it so hard to fix baseball?” (Baseball Prospectus Premium required.)
- The 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, featuring Larry Walker and Derek Jeter, has been moved to September 8 in the hope of getting live fans in attendance, writes Jay Jaffe.
- Nick Selbe looks at the resurgence of the Giants and the return of Brandon Crawford.
- Bradford Doolittle offers five possible reasons for the Yankees’ lackluster offense.
- Wait, games can be under two hours?
6/9/63 A crowd of 17,437 watches the Houston Colt .45s beat the San Francisco Giants 3-0 at Colt Stadium in MLB's first-ever Sunday night game. The National League gave permission due to Houston’s excessive daytime heat and humidity. The time of game was 1 hour and 58 minutes. pic.twitter.com/WrxwhzMjqV— Mike Acosta (@AstrosTalk) June 10, 2021
- AJ Cassavell has the catch of the year from a determined mother at a Padres game.
- In my most recent story for FanGraphs I explore an unusual bit of Canadian baseball history that suggests Cooperstown might not be the home of baseball after all.
- With all of baseball’s bad news, Peter Gammons reminds us of baseball’s heart with some happier stories. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Rustin Dodd brings us the top 30 walk-up songs of all time. (The Athletic subscription required.)
Have you ever seen an umpire throw a bat and it hits a player? Just happened to Jose Abreu pic.twitter.com/aD7S4AmJ3g— The NBA Expert (@RealNBAExpert) June 10, 2021
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.