Major League Baseball has now instructed teams to'muddy’ their baseballs prior to games, according to a league memo received by all 30 teams on Tuesday. ESPN obtained the memo from ESPN.
Muddying refers to the process of stripping the gloss off new baseballs in order to improve pitchers' grip. Muddying has been used in the sport for decades. This is especially important given the league's ban on foreign substances during the past 12 months.
In the past, muding was done by clubhouse attendants who prepared baseballs by using Delaware mud (which comes in a can) days before each game. The clubhouse attendants will have to continue to muddy their balls on each game day using the same method.
Officials found many different ways to muddy water after watching videos from clubhouse attendants around the league.
You should use two fingers to paint the entire ball with mud. To get the mud in the leather's pores, you will need to rub the ball with both your hands. Each ball should be muddyed in between 30-40 seconds.
This is yet another attempt to ensure uniformity across the hundreds of balls used at major league parks every night.
This decision was made after receiving feedback from players over two months, not as a result of an on-field incident involving Angels pitcher.Hit outfielder In the head with a pitch on Friday. Lorenzen stated that the ball fell out of his hands. For weeks, Lorenzen had been considering using a uniform muddying technique.
This memo provides guidelines for teams on how to properly handle and store the baseballs.
All baseballs used in a game must be mudded within three hours of the rest.
Once the muddying is complete, all balls must be returned to the Rawlings boxes. In the past, balls could be placed directly in the humidor.
A ball bag should contain only eight dozen balls when they are taken from the humidor. Players felt that the balls at the bottom of the bag were too difficult to handle in the past. To ensure there are no moisture, residue, or dust on the bag, you will need to clean it thoroughly with a damp cloth followed by a dry cloth.
Each team will be given a poster that shows the acceptable look for mudded baseball. (Dark/Light)
All game balls must remain in humidors for at least 14 days before being used in the muddying process.
According to league sources, although there's no solution that will guarantee every ball has the same feel, the league believes standardizing their handling and storage will make it easier to “improve the consistency in the baseballs.”
The revised guidelines will take effect Wednesday, after Michael Hill, senior vice president of field operations, meets with each of the teams.