New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole set the internet and sports radio lines ablaze Tuesday when he seemingly didn't deny ever using the substance Spider Tack.
However, Pete Alonso of the crosstown-rival Mets says that not only does he not have an issue with pitchers using foreign substances to better grip the ball, but he actually thinks Major League Baseball is making a mistake in trying to police it out of the game.
"Oh, absolutely not," Alonso said when asked if he agreed with the crackdown. "I don't think so. Because for me, I think that since the start of the game pitchers have been using "substances." I mean, there's a bag of rosin behind the mound right now to help guys dry their hands and get grip.
"For me, I think whether they are using pine tar, rosin, bullfrog or sunscreen and rosin - whatever they want to use to help control the ball, let them use it. Because for me, I go in the box every single day and I see guys throwing harder and harder. And I don't want 99 [mph] slipping out of someone's hand because they didn't have enough feel for it."
The slugging first baseman added to his comments by addressing what he thinks is a bigger issue in the game today: that the league is changing the makeup of the baseballs based on what stars will be free agents or heading into arbitration the following season.
"The biggest concern is MLB manipulates the baseball year in and year out depending on free agency class, or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration," Alonso said.
MLB announced it was altering the baseballs before the 2021 season in an effort to decrease the home run surge, which many believed happened in 2019 due to a "juiced ball" that led to more homers and less balls in play.
Alonso - who has 78 home runs in his first 262 career games - also said that he uses pine tar on his bat, along with lizard skin bat tape and batting gloves. The 26-year-old believes that if batters have every possible advantage to gripping their bats, pitchers deserve the same opportunities with the ball.
There's no doubt that Alonso's thoughts were interesting, especially given that a group of his teammates had to come out and defend Mets ace Jacob deGrom from unsubstantiated accusations of foreign substance use earlier this week. It sounds as though Alonso wouldn't mind if deGrom - who is putting together a historically-dominant season - was using substances to grip the ball.
While deGrom has pinpoint control and can touch 100 mph, many other pitchers in the sport throw in the high 90s without much of an idea of where the ball will go. That creates a dangerous situation for hitters, with Alonso's teammate Kevin Pillar and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper among those who have been hit in the face by errant pitches in 2021. In the mind of Alonso, allowing pitchers to use these substances - and have a consistent baseball every season - could prevent further injuries.