Major League Baseball's controversial crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances -- which is now a week old -- hasn't been conducted without incident or snide remarks.
But the league's new rules and inspections aren't disappearing anytime soon, and Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine believes most pitchers need to lie down in the bed they've made.
"The easiest thing to do is just submit to your check and go about your business," Glavine told the Tiki and Tierney show on Monday. "I've heard all the arguments about it. I am sympathetic to the argument that the pitchers are in a difficult position, being it's the middle of the season and they're having to change. Now, the other side to that equation is, it's their own fault. Everybody has kind of accepted that something was going on, and I think the players, pitchers took it too far. And Major League Baseball really had no choice but to do something about it.
"And I think they had to go cold turkey, really, to kind of get a gauge for how much or what was actually going on. I've heard discussions too about moving forward, well, maybe you have one thing that guys can use, whether it's sunscreen or some kind of mixture with the rosin bag. And all of that's well and good. But again, the difficult part of that is going to be putting the umpires in a position to decide what you're using, what you're supposed to be using, and how they're going to police that.
"So, the situation is all over the map. I get it, to some extent. But at the same time, listen, I played in a juiced ball era where the balls were really slick and had no seams. Pitching in cold weather is no fun -- you can't feel the baseball. For a hundred years, guys were able to pitch, and now all of the sudden, they can't pitch without all this stuff. That, to me, is the part that's hard to come to grips with."
On Sunday, Seattle Mariners reliever Hector Santiago became the first player ejected under MLB's new foreign substances rules. The 33-year-old veteran was tossed during the fifth inning of the team's doubleheader opener against the Chicago White Sox, after umpires inspected his glove and determined that there was something sticky inside.
Following the game, Santiago told reporters that he had only used rosin, and that the umpires told him he wasn't allowed to have rosin on his glove hand. Santiago's glove was ultimately confiscated, and wrapped up by a league authenticator to be further inspected.
Under MLB's guidelines, any player caught in possession of a foreign substance will be automatically ejected, and is subject to a 10-game suspension, with pay. Starting pitchers will undergo at least one mandatory check per game, and relievers must be checked either at the end of the inning when entering the game or when they're taken out of the game.
According to Baseball Reference, batters are hitting a scant .238 this season, the second-lowest league average since the mound was lowered following the 1968 season. In addition, the current 24-percent strikeout rate is the highest in MLB history.
The entire MLB conversation between Glavine and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.