From SABR member David Kagan at The Hardball Times on March 2, 2020:
There is a lot of confusion regarding the on-deck circle. Most believe the next batter is required to be there. If so, it is not in the 2018 MLB Rules, which don’t even mention the circle. In fact, the words “on-deck” appear only twice; once in regard to the definition of a “save” and again in a comment on Rule 5.04(b)(4)(B) encouraging umpires to get the next batter to the plate “quickly.”
Even players are sometimes confused about the on-deck circle. Once, Adrian Beltre was in his favorite spot, warming up for his pending at-bat, when an ump told him to get in the batting circle. Entertainment ensued, as yyou can see below.
Lead bat? Manny Mota Stick? Rosin bag? What is all that stuff, and what’s the point of it all? Well, there are two types of items. Some of them are designed to physically prepare for an at-bat, and the rest are intended to improve the batter’s grip on the bat. Let’s start with the grip-enhancers.
The Manny Mota Stick appears to be just a large cylinder of pine tar wrapped in cardboard so the gooey stuff can be applied just where it is wanted. Next time you are actually barbequing (not “outdoor cooking” with gas, you cretin) you might think about where charcoal comes from.
Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/physics-in-the-on-deck-circle/
Originally published: March 5, 2020. Last Updated: March 5, 2020.