MLB News: Rob Manfred Announces Switch From Dow To Rawlings For Tacky-Ball Experiment

Commissioner Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball has cracked down in recent years on the use of sticky substances like spider tack in an effort to help pitchers get a firmer grip on the baseball. However, pitchers soon complained about a lack of grip, and MLB had to work to find a middle-ground solution.

The league turned to Dow, a material science company, to try and help develop a baseball that had more natural tack as a means of convincing pitchers not to use their own substances. But since that agreement occured, the conversation surrounding sticky stuff and the baseballs has not improved.

That is why Manfred, as part of a series of other announcement, revealed that Dow is no longer working on this issue, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic:

“Dow has kind of cried uncle,” Manfred said. “They spent a ton of money and work with us, and they were great partners, and a lot of good ideas. And we just were not able to come up with a ball that was playable.”

Manfred and MLB are now turning to Rawlings, a company known for its baseball gear, to try and be the next to come up with a solution.

“We’re now focusing our efforts on a tacky ball with the Rawlings people. It is our baseball, they are baseball people, as opposed to chemical people, and we’re going to try that route. We were not successful on the Dow thing, and you know the big change is we are focusing our efforts on working with Rawlings.”

Manfred revealed the change occurred over the winter and those efforts are now underway. With any luck, Rawlings is able to find a playable solution that appeases both pitchers and the league offices. It’s a tall task, and one that Dow simply couldn’t complete.

But as baseball is plagued by all kinds of issues, it would be a massive step forward if one of those issues was not the very ball that the game is played with.

Rob Manfred not concerned about pitcher injuries

Manfred, MLB’s commissioner since 2015, has been widely panned for his response to various critical issues and his handling of some of the game’s biggest moments over the last 10 seasons. But one issue he has not frequently discussed is the rise in pitcher injuries and what can be done to curb it.

He spoke about the subject recently, giving some data-backed answers while downplaying the severity of the issue and whether or not anything needs to be done about it.

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