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It’s been a tough couple weeks for Major League Baseball as the league looks to crackdown on pitchers using illegal foreign substances.
While umpires have the task of figuring out who is using a foreign substance and who isn’t, one person who thinks that their mission is going great so far is commissioner Rob Manfred.
Manfred didn’t think the Joe Girardi and Max Scherzer back and forth in Tuesday’s game in Philadelphia was a big deal, and he is pleased with how on-field substance checks are going in the first few days.
“My view is the first two days have gone very well,” Manfred said.
“We’ve had no ejections, players in general have been extremely cooperative, the inspections have taken place quickly and between innings. Frankly, the data suggests that we are making progress with respect to the issues (in spin rate) that caused us to undertake the effort in the first place.
“I understand the incident in Philadelphia was less than ideal, but that was one incident. And we expect that we will continue, as the vast majority of cases so far, without that kind of incident.”
Scherzer has been vocal about the situation, stating that the league is under ‘Manfred rules,’ and said there is still lots of confusion about what is ‘legal’ and what is not.
Manfred said Major League Baseball has sought input from players, but that a lot of players haven’t responded.
“It would be incorrect, blatantly incorrect, to assume that the players and the union did not a) provide input into what we are doing and b) have additional opportunities to provide input that they did not take advantage of,” Manfred said.
“The transparency that I owe is to the players.
“We were really transparent from the beginning of the year that this was an issue of concern to us and that things needed to change.”