MLB sent a memo to all 30 teams on Tuesday to enforce uniformity on a crucial process: scrambling baseballs.
In an effort to “ensure consistency among the 30 clubs”, the league sent the memo to demand compliance with specific procedures it deemed best for “baseball slime application”.
The process of jamming a baseball is crucial for pitchers to maintain a good grip on the ball. Clubhouse attendants have overseen mud application for years, using a unique mud from the Deleware River to remove shine from new baseballs.
But while the league cracks down on the use of foreign substances, video obtained by the league showed a lack of consistency from club to club in how the jamming process was carried out.
According to MLB, the proper way to foul a baseball is to apply the mud directly by hand “evenly making sure the same mud-to-water ratio is applied to each ball,” the memo reads. This process should take at least 30 seconds for each ball to ensure that the mud is thoroughly rubbed into the surface of the leather.
The timing of mud application was another element the league sought to standardize. According to the memo, any scrambling must be done within three hours of using all other baseballs in that game, and they must be boiled the same day they will be used.
The note then specifies how the balls should be stored and how they should be prepared for each match. A “Mud Rubbing Enforcement Poster” will also be placed in each clubhouse to ensure consistency with ball color.
(Photo: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today)