The brown and tacky pine tar solution had made many headlines since baseball pitchers started using it. Some say it’s illegal to rub it on the hands, whereas some are in favor.
Why do pitchers use pine tar? Does it help them perform better?
Well, I did extensive research about the brown tar to find out why some pitchers rub it on the baseball while playing. Furthermore, in this article,
I will talk about the rules and regulations of using pine tar, along with its pros and cons.
If you are a baseball pitcher and thinking of using pine tar, this is a must-read article for you.
What Exactly is Pine Tar?
Made from pine trees, the brown tar has a honey-like consistency. Before pitchers started using it, the only purpose it served was taking care of the wooden items.
Why do Pitchers Use It?
Pine tar is a sticky substance that helps the pitchers establish a better grip on the baseball, and this is the biggest reason they use it. Furthermore, using the tar helps the player in spinning the ball better.
Apart from this, there is no other benefit of using pine tar. There are many players who have used the tar during league matches and got away without getting caught.
To understand more about pine tar and its use, you should read the next section.
Pine Tar and Its Legalities in Baseball
Using pine tar is not legal at all! If a pitcher gets caught using such substances during the league match, they may end up getting disqualified.
When it comes to the baseball bat, then you can use the pine tar solution on it before the match. However, I don’t recommend using anything like tar on your expensive bat. There are a lot of quality oils and solutions available out there to take care of the bat.
Does Pine Tar Really Work?
Yes, it works! The solution is very thick and helps the player hold the baseball firmly. Also, it prevents the ball from slipping off accidentally, which results in a better swing and a fastpitch.
Can I Use Pine Tar During Practice?
There are no rules that restrict the use of pine tar during practice sessions. However, if you are an ambitious pitcher, it is essential to use things that help you be better at what you do.
However, I don’t suggest using the tar during practice sessions as well. Once you start using it, there is no going back, and you will be habitual of the good grip tar provides.
A Popular Pine Tar Controversy
The biggest pine tar controversy that comes to my mind is the George Brett incident. In the 1980s, during a match, the amazing player hit a home run, but the manager of the opposite team (Yankees) challenged that Brett was using pine tar illegally.
And the umpire ruled in favor of the Yankees, which heated the situation, and there was a big protest.
Another controversy where a pitcher used pine tar happened with Michel Pineda. The player rubbed some tar around his neck when playing against the Boston Red Sox. The brown tar was visible in the HD cameras, and the player didn’t get away from cheating.
Conclusion: Is Using Pine Tar Cheating?
As per the rules and regulations of baseball, using pine tar is considered cheating and illegal. Pitchers as well as batters, no one can use pine tar, thumbtacks, and sandpaper during a match.
Nowadays, HD cameras can catch everything, so there is no scope for cheating. However, always play using the right techniques, and don’t rely on such things to help you boost your performance.