No One Is Immune
Who will take the fall for foreign substance use? Considering his outspoken nature and the obvious sudden increase in his spin rate, Bauer seems like a prime candidate. But honestly it could be anyone, and this looming scandal isn’t limited to the Dodgers. It all depends on how MLB engineers things, but every team is in a position to get caught up in this.
The Astros are no exception. SI noted that Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, along with Nationals ace Max Scherzer, were named in a now-dismissed lawsuit by an Angels clubhouse employee who alleged they used a particular sticky substance. Both Cole and Verlander put up career-best numbers after arriving in Houston, and Cole has continued to do so with the Yankees.
Besides, if it’s true that 80 to 90 percent of pitchers are using something, this really will affect every single team. In all honesty, Zack Greinke is the only current Astros pitcher who I would guess does not use foreign substances. I don’t know for sure that anyone else does, but at this point nothing would surprise me.
But as is the case with the steroid and sign stealing scandals, we are unlikely to ever know the full story. If there’s anything we do know, it’s that MLB will acknowledge it only to the extent that it has to. It will start cracking down simply because the practice has become so widespread that it cannot be ignored. And Manfred will find a select few people or teams to blame, cover up the rest, and expect fans to accept that and move on.