Major League Baseball is expected to announce Tuesday that it will suspend players caught with any foreign substance for 10 days with pay to help curtail the widespread use of grip enhancers by pitchers around the league, sources familiar with the plans told ESPN.
The league is expected to distribute a memo to teams — which have been briefed on the broad strokes of the policy change — that outlines its plans to penalize all players caught by umpires with any foreign substance on their person, from the widely used sunscreen-and-rosin combination to Spider Tack, an industrial glue that has become a favorite among pitchers who want to generate more spin on the ball.
The liberal interpretation of Rules 3.01 and 6.02(c), which ban the use of foreign substances, would discipline all substances the same. While there is a “broad consensus among players that Spider Tack is over the line,” a high-ranking person on the players’ side told ESPN on Monday, the full ban of all grip agents could rankle players. A longtime umpire told ESPN the hard line is vital as he and his brethren attempt an on-the-fly enforcement of a rule that for years has been ignored.