Salvador Perez, the catcher for the Kansas City Royals, was seen rubbing his hand on a brown substance that was on his shin guard. The 25 year old baseball player from Venezuela has been having a solid post-season thus far, helping power the Royals to the World Series with his at bat prowess. However, this latest development might have the Royals placed in a different light.
Many who see the substance believe it to be pine tar, a liquid added to hitters bats to help improve their grip on the wood. A pitcher would have a predictable flight pattern for a ball that was unchanged by outside substances. In MLB terms, a predictable ball is a more hittable ball. Adding pine tar to a ball would change it’s flight and give an unfair advantage to the pitcher. The last time many even asked about pine tar was 2014 when Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was caught using the substance during a game. The end result of this transgression was a ten game suspension for Pineda.
MLB holds specific rules for many situations, including the use of foreign substances. Rule 8.02 states that no foreign substance can be added to a baseball of any kind. Penalty includes immediate ejection and possible suspension. It’s unclear as to whether these rules will be upheld in the midst of the World Series, but it’s worth noting that if the Royals do win it all it could go down in history with an asterisk next to their names.