So, after seeing memes of Justin Timberlake for most of April, the internet was fresh with new material on the first couple of days of May. One fascinating bit came from Indians RHP Trevor Bauer, who dropped this nugget about the Houston Astros use of pine tar:
If only there was just a really quick way to increase spin rate. Like what if you could trade for a player knowing that you could bump his spin rate a couple hundred rpm overnight…imagine the steals you could get on the trade market! If only that existed…
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) May 1, 2018
Jealousy isn’t a good look on you my man. You have great stuff and have worked hard for it, like the rest of us, no need for this. I will ask though because my spin rate and spin axis on my 4 seem is a$. https://t.co/jvbLuWWqgN
So, the top two teams (arguably) in the American League have come to social media fisticuffs over the use of a foreign substance, pine tar, that seems to be getting used to assist in spin rate. I am not an expert on this topic; however, I do know that Bauer is some sort of wizard when it comes to understanding his methodology on the mound. He studies this information and likely had a legitimate claim. Still, was it wise to go public with this bombshell?
Over the last several years, it appears normal to see some sort of material on the caps of pitchers. It isn’t a massive, Michael Pineda quantity on the neck, but it is pretty obvious that it’s there. Fortunately for many pitchers this chilly April, it seems to be an overlooked cheating method…if you can call it cheating. If you can use it on bats, why not the ball, right?
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Regardless of your opinion of whether this is doctoring and gaining an advantage, did Bauer go too far by taking this claim public? We know that he is comfortable being himself, which is quirky and unbelievably talented – just see Brian’s recent post to see just how talented he is.