20 years ago, Barry Bonds was jacking baseballs into McCovey Cove like he was a human howitzer. The only people who didn’t suspect that he was jacked on steroids were students at the National Braille Institute. He retired and his body deflated like a party balloon.  MLB decided that players looking like Thanos with a bat was a bad look, but that took years and lots of “Ok guys we’re gonna start testing” warnings. Guys still cheated. 10 years ago Ryan Braun won an MVP. He was cheating, and admitted it but only after winning the MVP.

This year, mid-season, MLB cracked down on pitchers. Foreign substances have been used for years but MLB decided that this year, mid-season, it would start enforcing a rule. Yeah, “foreign substances” have always been banned but unless the ball was stuck to a pitcher’s fingers, umps looked the other way.


Well, unless it’s rosin. We’ll give you a rosin bag.

Oh? Rosin isn’t a foreign substance?

Well, yes it is… but…it isn’t.

Ok. So rosin IS a foreign substance but it’s legal. Got it. Can I use sunscreen?

Yes, of course. MLB is against skin cancer.

Can I use sunscreen with rosin?

Oh no. That’s illegal.

What? Both are ok, but not ok…together? Like matter and anti-matter?

Yeah, that’s right…

I can’t use pine tar?

Oh no!

But, rosin has pine tar in it.

Yeah, but it’s called rosin. So it’s ok, and no sunscreen with rosin. Cool?

If I’m batting, can I use pine tar?

Of course, we’re not crazy.

MLB is full of stupid rules, mostly unwritten rules. Hit a homer and flip a bat? Expect some chin music. Stare at a pitcher and oh boy – there’s gonna be a fight. Not a real fight. Mostly guys swinging wildly like teenage girls without the hair-pulling.

So for the rest of this year, umps will strip-search pitchers for foreign substances, like TSA strip searches a blue-hair with a walker and a pin in her hip. Stuff that’s legal for batters is illegal for pitchers. Got It?

Abbott, who’s on first?