MLB Is Better, Fairer Because of Sticky Stuff Crackdown

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The rebalancing of baseball has begun. The sport still needs to shape a more entertaining product by quickening the pace of play, outlawing shifts, reducing the strikeout rate and limiting pitchers on a roster. But some change is here. We have seen a drastic decline in spin rates in just the first week baseball began enforcing the ban on pitchers doctoring the baseball.

Baseball immediately became a fairer game and hitters have a better chance to put the ball in play. And if you don’t think those are urgent matters, then you are either a pitcher who rationalizes cheating or you haven’t been paying attention.

The early highlights of the Crackdown on Goo:

• “Super-spin” four-seam fastballs (2,500 RPMs or more) plummeted 69% in the first week of enforcement compared to the rate before June 3, when the unofficial warning period began. An average of 17.2 super-spin fastballs per game fizzled to 5.3.

• The MLB batting average on June 3 was .236, lower than any season in history. Since then, it is .243 (but only .234 last week).

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