Wainwright says MLB sticky substance problem “needs to be sent out of the game”

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright throws during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Monday, April 26, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Joe Puetz)

ST. LOUIS- Major League Baseball’s rumored coming crackdown on the use of foreign substances by pitchers is welcome news to St. Louis Cardinals stalwart Adam Wainwright.

While pitchers have long used things like sunscreen and resin to get a better grip on balls–what Cardinals manager Mike Shildt referred to as “Baseball’s dirty little secret” when pitcher Giovanny Gallegos had his hat confiscated last month in Chicago against the White Sox, controversy over the use of manufactured substances has spilled out into the public over the last year.

Tuesday, when asked if he’d used a product known as “Spider Tack”, New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole struggled to give a direct answer.

Wainwright, in his weekly appearance on 101 ESPN’s Karraker and Smallmon show Wednesday morning, said he’d “experimented” with substances “a few years back”, but said “it didn’t work for me.”

Wainwright said what Shildt and others have said before, that hitters want pitchers to have some ability to get a better grip, especially when they have fastballs clocking 100 MPH heading their way. But the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and now needs to be “sent out of the game.”

“There’s just so many people who are glaringly or obviously going to their glove to get this disgusting tar basically, sticky stuff off their glove every single pitch,” Wainwright said. If the dust-up over Gallegos’ hat was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to enforcement, Wainwright says, “Fine. Everybody just needs to be competing at the same level.”

Listen to the entire interview

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