Red Sox’ Garrett Richards becomes latest pitcher to openly whine about MLB crackdown on illegal substances
This is why a lot of people think baseball players are a bunch of bitches.
It’s not totally fair to put Red Sox starter Garrett Richards in the same category as the Rays’ Tyler Glasnow, but in terms of insufferable baseball player rants, Richards certainly registered somewhere on the scale in his postgame presser after the Red Sox’ 10-8 win over the Atlanta Braves Wednesday night.
“I’m not gonna get caught up in it all, but I’ll definitely say it’s starting to affect people in their careers,” Richards said, when asked if MLB’s recent crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances was affecting him personally (h/t to Alexandra Francisco at NESN.com for transcribing). “So we’re gonna follow the rules, but this is the game you’re gonna get. I think time will tell. I think if you just watch baseball across the league, you’re gonna see some interesting things. Be prepared for four-hour long games and some interesting things. I’m just grateful that I got this far into my career before we’re at this point.”
Leave it to a baseball player to act like “interesting things” is some sort of threat. No, Garrett, please, do threaten me with a good time. Baseball needs it. America needs it.
Never mind that the issue with length of games was never an over-abundance of offense and action (oh no, not that!) but the excessive time taken between pitches, especially by the guys on the mound. Now they’ve had to do away with using foreign substances to strengthen their grip on the baseball, offenses are making a comeback, and pitchers are lashing out about it.
Here’s another big ol’ diatribe from Richards, which decries the idea that rosin is the only substance pitchers can use while the crackdown is going on:
“As I get to the field every day, I put sunscreen on. Well now I can’t do that, and on top of that, the only thing that’s provided is the rosin bag on the back of the mound which, to be honest with you, is completely useless. It does nothing, literally, it barely even dries up sweat. It might as well not even be there. I can’t even think how many times in over the entire course of my career that I’ve gone to the back of the rosin bag. Sometimes I’ve been on mounds that didn’t even have rosin bags on the back of the mound. It by itself doesn’t do anything for anybody. I don’t know anybody that that just uses rosin. You know, if we could somehow get a rosin bag that actually worked, I think that that’s something that should definitely be looked into. I don’t think anybody’s looking for anything over the top, I think we’re just trying to find something that will allow us to throw more strikes and still be able to compete. I mean, you know what I’m saying? At the end of the day, don’t we want both sides competing? If one side has to concede and the other side gets all the advantage, then what are we doing here? We’re just watering down the purity of competing in the game.”
Even this can’t possibly be compared to perhaps the bitchiest rant we’ve ever seen from a baseball player, which is Glasnow’s tantrum from earlier in the week after he got injured. “Petulant” doesn’t even begin to describe Glasnow’s selfish, whining tone and lack of self-awareness.
Still, there are nuggets of understandable truths in these comments. A very high percentage of pitchers use something along the lines of a sunscreen and rosin mix to help their grip on the ball. To force them to make such a drastic adjustment mid-season could possibly lead to unintended consequences, like Glasnow’s injury (as he claimed). As Ken Rosenthal explained in his latest column for The Athletic, at some point, MLB is likely going to have to agree on an acceptable “universal” substance that would go unpunished, like the aforementioned sunscreen & rosin, which is far from the same thing as Spider Tack. This crackdown is something of an overcorrection.
But with rants like Richards last night, it’s hard to garner sympathy for these guys. Just quit the bitching, figure it out, and pitch better. Because they seem to want to blame everyone but themselves right now.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.