In this week’s episode of Cheap Seats Chatter, Alex Clark, Mathias Altman-Kurosaki, and I discuss multiple topics surrounding the latest in the ongoing saga of doctored baseballs in MLB, a potential change in defensive shifts that looms, and some more sign/trade talk, where we analyze the potential looming free agency of Max Scherzer.
Cheap Seats Chatter: Doctored Baseball Scandal Continues
While we discussed in depth the interesting revelations revealed within Sports Illustrated’s story in last week’s podcast, we decided to continue it into this week, focusing on Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole‘s response to potential foreign substance use. The press conference footage showed Cole in a loss of words, circumventing from answering a question that inquired about whether or not he had ever used the substance “Spider Tack” in particular. Back in January of this year, former Los Angeles Angels’ away clubhouse manager Bubba Harkins alleged in a defamation lawsuit against MLB and the Los Angeles Angels that Cole was one of many pitchers he had both concocted and supplied foreign substances.
Cole has been arguably the biggest face of this scandal and we dove into his coincidental rise to elite stardom that has also correlated with a suspiciously quick incline in spin rate. How they respond to another cheating scandal that has compromised the integrity of the sport could mean a lot for the game, and that’s exactly what we get into.
Cheap Seats Chatter: Potential Shift Limiting Rules
The defensive shift was first noticed in MLB when it was first used against legendary slugger Cy Williams back in the 1920s, but we’ve seen a dramatic spike in its use over the past 15 years. Lately, with the way offensive production has diminished significantly, many have wondered how much of a role the defensive shift has played in it. We analyze the value the shift brings to the game, how players have coped in recent years, and how the league should handle it moving forward.
Cheap Seats Chatter: Max Scherzer’s Upcoming Free Agency
It won’t be long before the Washington Nationals must deal with Scherzer’s soon-to-be expired contract. Scherzer, who already has etched his name in the history books as one of the all-time greats, has lingered within the trading rumor mill dating back to even in the first half of the Nationals 2019 World Series campaign. The 36-year-old seven-time all-star, three-time Cy Young award winner is having another spectacular year with top 10 MLB ranks in strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP, but the Nationals are currently eight games below .500 and in need of some solutions.
We examine the value Scherzer still brings and determine whether we believe it’s worth continuing his services as a National or moving on to begin the reconstruction of a team just two years ago were MLB champions, by trading their pitching ace.
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