J.D. Martinez In Favor Of MLB’s Crackdown On Sticky Substances

'Do I blame the pitchers? No, I don't'

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June 16, 2021

Major League Baseball has been making headlines of late due to its crackdown on pitchers using sticky substances.

If you ask J.D. Martinez about it, though, he’s in favor of the new rule.

Martinez long has said he’s a “trained hitter,” and re-watches his at-bats and batting practices in order to perfect his craft. So if a pitcher isn’t using a substance for an advantage, the better it bodes for the Boston Red Sox designated hitter.

In fact, he thinks it’s bringing baseball “back to what it used to be.”

“I think it’s bringing it back to what it used to be. For years, hitters have taken the blunt and the blame for this whole launch angle revolution on why the ball has been — the game’s slowed down, everyone’s trying to hit home runs,” Martinez told reporters over Zoom ahead of Boston’s finale against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. “It’s been one of those things where it’s always been the hitters fault. We’re always trying to swing for the fences, but there’s always been that underlying issue that no one’s ever seemed to talk about. It’s one of those things now where I think MLB’ addressing. I think it’s one of those things that’s gonna kinda level the playing field again.”

When asked if Martinez thinks the rule change has any impact on the Red Sox, his answer was pretty blunt.

“I don’t think it really effects us. I don’t really think it effects our pitchers, honestly,” he said. “Talking with our pitchers, nobody uses that kind of stuff. Nobody uses those kinds of substances like that. So I think it’s gonna benefit us.”

Still, he’s not going to blame the pitchers for trying to use something to their advantage.

“… Everyone kind of turned their head and looked the other way, and the secret got out, and everyone started using it and the entire league starts using it. Do I blame the pitchers? No, I don’t because they’re being compared to their peers. And if the other pitchers are using it, they’d be stupid not to use it. … I think what happens is everyone starts seeing it, everyone starts seeing the benefit of it, the amount of spin they can put on the ball, the way they can make the ball move and the benefit of it. … Hit by pitches are through the roof this year. I think MLB’s finally realizing, ‘Alright well, this is a big issue, we gotta address it and we gotta talk about it.’ I think they’ve finally I think noticed the issue and making the adjustment to stop it.”

We’ll see how pitcher react to the change, while also seeing how the league and umpires enforce anything they may see on the mound.

Thumbnail photo via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images
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