Fans React to Mets' Pete Alonso Accusing MLB of Manipulating Baseballs Based on Free Agent Class

New York Mets star Pete Alonso is certain that the MLB manipulates the baseballs used every year depending on how the free agent class shakes out.

Pete Alonso heads for the dugout after batting practice before the game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Image via Getty/Elsa

Pete Alonso heads for the dugout after batting practice before the game against the Baltimore Orioles.

As Major League Baseball attempts to crack down on the polarizing issue of pitchers using a variety of sticky substances, New York Mets star Pete Alonso believes there’s a more important issue that isn’t being talked about.

“The biggest concern is MLB manipulates the baseball year in and year out depending on free-agency class, or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration,” Alonso said, per ESPN. 

Pete Alonso posits that MLB changes the baseball based on free agent class:

"That's a fact. In 2019 there was a huge class of free agent's not a coincidence"

— SNY (@SNYtv) June 9, 2021

“In 2019, there was a huge class of free-agent pitchers and then that’s quote-unquote ‘the juiced balls,’ and then 2020 was a strange year with the COVID season,” Alonso remarked. “But now that we’re back to playing in a regular season with a ton of shortstops or position players that are going to be paid a lot of money like high-caliber players – I mean, yeah, that’s not a coincidence. It’s definitely something that they do.” 

Alonso raised this concern after New York Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole fumbled his way through an explanation last night about his possible use of Spider Tack, arguably the most sticky substance available. 

here's gerrit cole's response when asked point blank if he has ever used spider tack, one of the sticky substances baseball is looking to crack down on

— Matthew Roberson (@mroberson22) June 8, 2021

The issue with pitchers using these substances is that while it allows them to have a better grip on the ball, it also increases spin rate on a pitcher’s fastball and breaking ball, thereby making them harder to hit, and creating softer contact when the bat actually hits the ball. This year, the league batting average is .237, which is tied for the lowest of all-time, while strikeouts are the currently the highest they have ever been.  

Alonso said he doesn’t have a problem with pitchers using substances, pointing out that the bag of rosin sitting on the mound essentially serves the same purpose. The 2019 National League Rookie of the Year thinks that if these pitchers are allowed to have a better grip on the ball, it’s better for him when he’s standing in the box. “Because for me, I go in the box every single day and I see guys throwing harder and harder every day. I don’t want 99 slipping out of someone’s hand because they didn’t have enough feel for it,” he said.

You can check out some reactions the news below. 

Pitchers have been using stuff for grip for decades. Now that #MLB messed with the baseballs & drove down offense, they're trying to fix the problem by blaming the pitchers.

Easy enough to do. Screw up. Blame someone else.

— Chris Carlin (@ChrisCarlin) June 8, 2021

For those wondering how many players are using sticky stuff: If the guy who got paid $324 million is, you can be damn sure a majority of the rest of pitchers are, too.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 8, 2021

And don't get me wrong, doctoring the ball is part of it (and I'm all for punishing whoever, including Cole) but it's not the only reason offense is down. But MLB can't go after analytic-driven roster building or the de-juicing of balls without being self-incriminating.

— B-Dilly (@Titan4Ever2488) June 8, 2021

The reason MLB has suddenly started to give a shit about "sticky stuff" – which has been prevalent in baseball forever – is to pin the players against each other before the CBA. Now they are letting some of their biggest stars get burned, as always, and will continue to do so.

— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) June 9, 2021

I wish baseball would react to cheating when it’s evident and not only when it starts to produce results. In the case of pitchers using foreign substances, it’s been pretty much accepted. We certainly know it’s occurring. Now, with runs down and ratings too... MLB reacts.

— MLBExecutiveBurner (@HotStoveintel) June 7, 2021

This should’ve been the moment when MLB realized the “sticky stuff” was an issue, four years ago

— The Baseball Newsletter (@bbletter) June 4, 2021

Interesting. A safety issue for The Polar Bear. At the end of the day, hitters and pitchers have always been looking for an edge. Forever. Call it “cheating” or gaining an edge it’s all just been an accepted part of the sport. We usually just chuckle at it all.

— Scott Laughlin (@LaughlinSXM) June 10, 2021

They changed the ball to make it way easier to pitch and to limit offense league wide only to randomly start caring about pitchers cheating since they have become too dominant.
Yeah makes sense @MLB

— ZT (@unbakedZT) June 8, 2021

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