Temple: Can’t science solve baseball’s silly foreign substance debate?

From SABR member David G. Temple at TechGraphs on May 27, 2015:

If you watch the HBO television program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you may be familiar with a reoccurring segment titled “How is This Still a Thing?” in which approximately three to four minutes are used to discuss the merits of some kind of tired tradition that probably needs to come to an end.

With the recent suspension of not one, but two major league pitchers for infractions regarding foreign substances, you may be asking yourself the same question. Sports, of course, loves a good debate, so when the whole issue was brought up again this go-round, the same old questions arose. Does it really help the pitcher? Do the batters really mind? Does anyone really care?

But the most prevalent question seems to revolve around how this issue hasn’t been put to bed already. Major League Baseball — and some certain managers, it seems — think that a pitcher’s employment of certain substances gives them an unfair advantage. This has not stopped the pitchers from disregarding the rules banning those substances, however. A recent segment on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight featuring former big leaguers Alex Cora and Dallas Braden accentuates this fact.

Read the full article here: http://www.techgraphs.com/cant-science-solve-baseballs-silly-foreign-substance-debate/

Originally published: May 30, 2015. Last Updated: May 30, 2015.