Pine Tar and Baseball
For the love of the game. How far are people willing to stretch this quote? Baseball players for years have been trying to master their game and show why they deserve the big bucks, but how far will they go to get to that point?
Pine tar is a sticky material made by high temperatures carbonization of pine wood in anoxic conditions. The wood is rapidly decomposed by applying heat and pressure in a closed container; the primary resulting products are charcoal and pine tar. When given pine tar, pitchers can almost throw magical pitches from the sticky tar left on a baseball.
Pine Tar in baseball has been a controversial topic for years and the arguments on if it should be legal or illegal can go on for decades. Some believe that players use it because they aren’t good enough to get batters out and many believe pitchers do it for the sake of the batter’s safety.
Many pitchers use pine tar to help control their pitches. If pitchers have better control, it is less likely that a batter gets hit by the ball, especially if it is coming at 90mph or faster. Being that the pitcher has more control, batters do not like that the pitcher has the advantage and can manage the movement of the ball better, making it a disadvantage for the hitter.
Major League Baseball has banned pine tar on the list of things pitchers can use, but there are still people who use pine tar in their day-to-day practices. Multiple pitchers have been ejected from games for using pine tar and I believe even with those consequences, pitchers will still use pine tar to help throw strikes.
One big thing that pitchers are trying to do is get their spin rate up. Spin rate represents the rate of spin once the baseball has released the baseball. The more spin on the baseball, the more movement the baseball will have. When given pine tar, pitchers spin rates increase drastically. With that advantage of changing your spin rate, pitchers look to pine tar as a way in enhance their game.
The MLB has tried to keep pine tar out of the pitcher’s hands but with new tricks and ideas to hide it, the usage rate will keep climbing leaving hitters and fans wondering if the pitcher is throwing all-natural pitches, or if he has some help with pine tar