July 21, 2024

Edwin Diaz, the New York Mets’ outstanding reliever, was ejected from “Sunday Night Baseball” and is facing a penalty, bringing the use of “sticky stuff” by MLB pitchers back into the spotlight.

Danny Coulombe, a relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, appeared on the “Foul Territory” podcast on Monday to debate the matter, saying MLB should be more explicit about what is and isn’t allowed for hurlers.


Danny Coulombe quickly carved out a high-leverage role with the Orioles -  Camden Chat


“I’ve had a few guys, especially young guys, they come up and they hit the rosin bag on a hot day when it’s sweaty out and all of a sudden their hands are a little black and they’re like ‘I’m gonna get busted,'” the veteran lefty said. “It penalizes your team on such a high level with losing a roster spot and so they’re terrified of anything like that. There’s too much gray (area). There’s nobody on our team that’s using anything, so it’s like, they’re just scared to get busted for just having the stuff that’s out there. … It’s just hard when it’s a substance that’s given to you, but you can’t use too much of it. It’s just such a gray area.”

Coulombe later admitted to having “used substances” in the past, but said that prior to the league’s crackdown, the majority of pitchers did as well.

“It’s definitely causing a paranoia,” the 34-year-old said. “Before the sticky checks, I used substances, and I’d say about 80% of the league did. Trying to figure out how to throw without it, and then, if you get caught, you get busted for something that you’re not using anymore, it’s really frustrating. … In my opinion, I wish they had some sort of criteria they could do, but I just don’t know how they could enforce that.”

On Monday’s episode of his “Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney” podcast, ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney stated that “folks around baseball” were telling him, “Look, we all know there are hundreds of pitchers using sticky stuff.” That appears to back up Coulombe’s comments.

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