CHICAGO — While labor peace seems awfully challenging, Major League Baseball is making better progress on a recent affliction to hit the industry: Spider Tack withdrawal.
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke optimistically Thursday, at the conclusion of the owners’ meetings, of a new, tackier baseball to help pitchers who found themselves stripped of their sticky-stuff weaponry in the middle of last season.
“We actually have a couple of options in terms of tackier balls,” Manfred said. “I think there’s going to be some testing done over the winter. I think … we’ll be far enough along that there will actually be, I’m hoping, live-game testing in spring training and we could be in a position to use it all of next year. Maybe it’s going to be ’23 instead, but we’re continuing to work on that project.
“The trick is [to make it] tackier but not so tacky that it’s Spider Tack.”
The 2021 season found itself momentarily disrupted in June when umpires began enforcing long-standing bans on sticky stuff. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole turned into a poster boy for the problem, as his spin rates dropped noticeably once MLB spread the word that the change was coming.
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