• Robert Routt

Bassitt says baseball grip problems don't matter to MLB: "They don't care"

A serious and damaging problem is engulfing Major League Baseball, and Chris Bassitt is tired of the sport's apparent indifference.

As the Mets won 3-0 over the Cardinals on Tuesday, three Mets were hit by pitches. Bassitt criticized MLB for failing to acknowledge the danger of pitchers not being able to consistently grasp baseballs.

Bassitt believes baseball is a very big problem for Major League Baseball. He says, "They're terrible.". It's a known fact. Every pitcher in the league knows it. MLB doesn’t give a damn about it. They don’t give a damn. We’ve told them our concerns. But they don’t care.” According to Bassitt, the balls vary from inning to inning.

'They're decent in the first inning,' he said. "In the third inning, they're terrible.". They're okay in the fourth. The fifth inning is their worst. We have different climates. It's all different. Balls cannot be compared. Nothing is the same from outing to outing. They're terrible."

"Everyone preaches this all the time," he said. Seeing guys get hit over and over and not doing anything about it is too easy. How much longer will we stand by?””” There have been 18 pitches hit by the Mets this season, the most in the majors. Francisco Lindor was also drilled head-high by Pete Alonso this season, leading to a cracked tooth.

In an attempt to reduce spin rates, MLB prohibited pitchers from using foreign substances on the ball last year. In baseball, a higher spin rate leads to higher velocity, which decreases offense and lowers batting averages. The lack of a sticky substance has, however, led to gripping issues that seem to be more widespread.

In an effort to reduce spin rates, the MLB banned foreign substances on the ball last year. Discussions are underway to find a solution that works for both parties. McCann agreed that substances like Spider Tack, or those meant to increase spin rates, should not be used in the game.

"McCann advised players to sit down and discuss the issue. Players should sit down with McCann to discuss the issue. Do not listen to people who are not on the mound and are not trying to throw it. Talk to someone who’s not trying to stand in the box when a guy’s throwing 100 mph and doesn’t have a feel for the ball. That’s the answer, is to talk to the players and see what the most effective result is.”

McCann recommended putting a pine tar rag - like the ones batters use to grip their bats better - and sunscreen on the mound in addition to rosin bag. McCann believes that the solution to improve pitchers' ability to grip the ball during the season can be accomplished, like last year's ban on all sticky substances in-season. This needs to happen as soon as possible.

Buck Showalter expressed his displeasure after three more Mets were struck by pitches on Tuesday night. It must stop, whether it was intentional or not, said Starling Marte.

McCann says the topic is juiced balls, dead balls, slick balls, sticky balls. This is 2022, after all. "Surely we have an answer.”

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