MLB threatens pitchers with 10-game bans for altering balls

Sports

A baseball with MLB logo is seen at Citizens Bank Park before a game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies on June 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) – Pitchers will be ejected and suspended for 10 games for using illegal foreign substances to doctor baseballs in a crackdown by Major League Baseball that will start Monday.

The move announced by the commissioner’s office comes in response to record strikeouts and a league batting average at its lowest since 1968.

The commissioner’s office says major and minor league umpires will start regular checks of all pitchers, even if opposing managers don’t request inspections. Repeat offenders will receive progressive discipline, and teams and club employees will be subject to discipline for failure to comply.

The increased use of foreign substances to alter baseballs is viewed as the largest instance of widespread cheating in the sport since the rise of steroids.

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