NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is standardizing procedures for rubbing baseballs and their removal from humidors in an effort to establish more consistency amid complaints about slickness that followed the crackdown on sticky substances.
MLB has been working on standards over the course of the season in response to feedback from players and sent a memorandum outlining the changes on Tuesday to general managers, assistant GMs and clubhouse managers. Titled “Updates to Baseball Storage & Handling,” a copy of the memo was obtained by The Associated Press.
Scrutiny of baseball preparation — a minimum 13 dozen are readied for each game — has increased in recent years. Use of a humidor, began by Colorado in 2002, expanded to Arizona in 2019, three additional teams in 2020, then a total of 10 last year and all 30 this season.
MLB is mandating a ball be stored in a humidor for at least 14 days before game use, and ball storage must be recorded by the home team’s gameday compliance monitor and then certified in a signed form by the clubhouse manager.
“All baseballs projected to be used in a specific game must be mudded within three hours of all other baseballs being used in that game, and must be mudded on the same day that they are going to be used,” the memo states. “Baseballs should not be out of the humidor for more than two hours at any point prior to first pitch, and if it will take club staff longer than two hours, the baseballs should be pulled out of the humidor in smaller batches.”
The memo followed review of video of each team’s rubbing procedures.
MLB is instructing that “each club staff member involved in the process should apply mud in a uniform manner ensuring the same mud-to-water ratio is applied to each ball. Rubbing mud should be applied to each…