KC Royals: Salvador Perez Shin-Guard Substance Could Force Rule Change


KC Royals catcher Salvador Perez got caught by Fox Sports cameras with a brown substance smeared above his right shin guard in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets.

No one knew exactly what the substance was, but it stirred up some controversy after the game. Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost pointed out to the New York Post:

"“It’s not illegal,” Yost said. “I don’t know what it was. It was brown. It’s not illegal for a catcher to have it on his shinguard. It’s illegal for a pitcher.”"

However, former Red Sox ace, and World Series hero, Curt Schilling seemed certain that Salvador Perez was loading up the ball with pine tar to help his pitcher:

Whatever the substance was, the incident has notified the 2015 World Series audience that catchers can doctor the ball for their pitcher without risk. The substance could have been pine tar, Vaseline that got smeared with dirt, or any number of other foreign substances that pitchers have used to load up baseballs to induce an erratic flight path.

While I’m certain many around major-league baseball were quite aware of this hole in the rules, now that it has received attention on the big stage of the World Series, I expect the rules committee to address this concern in the winter.

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Don’t be surprised to see rules prohibiting foreign substances on catchers next season, given that everyone now knows just how easy it is to cheat. The run environment is down across major-league baseball in recent years given the larger strike zone. An increase in ball doctoring could take us back to the dead ball era.

Which wouldn’t exactly be a boon for TV ratings.

Also, the last thing major-league baseball needs is to raise the specter of cheating after apparently cleaning steroids from the game in the last decade. I expect prompt action to cut off any sense that on-field play isn’t on the up-and-up. With the league office located in New York City, Mets fans certain to scream, and the papers that serve them beating the story to death if the KC Royals take the crown, you’ll never hear the end of it during the off-season.

Until the winter meetings, however, KC Royals catcher Salvador Perez is apparently free to smear substances all over his gear. If nothing else, it might get into the heads of New York Mets hitters for the rest of the 2015 World Series.

Stay tuned Kansas City Royals fans. This little sub-plot might heat up in a big way over the next couple of games.

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