It might be time for Gaylord Perry to begin plotting his comeback.
Following the introduction of MLB’s COVID-19-inspired rule, allowing pitchers to carry a wet rag — instead of licking their fingers to improve their grip — former Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson quickly guessed that countless players may attempt to throw spitballs this season, soaking the rag with a banned substance, rather than water.
“Love the wet rag rule for 2020. Pitchers are allowed to carry a wet rag in their back pocket instead of licking their fingers,” Nelson tweeted. “Good luck hitters, water won’t be the only thing on that rag.”
To help prevent pitchers from doctoring balls, umpires are permitted to check the rag for non-water substances at any point. Players and managers are encouraged to practice social distancing with umpires and will be subject to fines and/or suspensions if they come within six feet of an umpire in order to argue a play or call.