The latest cheating scandal in the sports world is again centered in baseball and it's all about the 'S' word. Not steroids, but stickiness and spin rate.

Since the birth of baseball, pitchers and hitters have been looking for ways to get an advantage over the other. When it comes to pitchers, that advantage would include sticky substances that would allow a pitcher to get a better grip, and therefore, have better control of the ball. With that increased grip in hand, pitchers can also 'spin' the ball more, making it move more on breaking pitches, and thus hard to hit.

In the last month, Major League Baseball has suspended four pitchers who were caught with foreign substances on their hand or ball that would make it easier to grip and spin the ball. Many say it's a signal to the big leaguers to 'clean it up' because the league it taking a renewed focus on that element of cheating in the game.

A pair of New York pitchers, both dominant aces, are among those facing accusations of using substances to cheat the game.

Gerrit Cole, the 2019 AL Cy Young Award runner-up, and Trevor Bauer of the L.A. Dodgers were cast into question when, following the suspension of minor league players, there was a noticeable difference in each pitchers' 'spin-rate' during their next outing.

In fact, Minnesota's Josh Donaldson, thought it was ironic in Cole's case that his spin rate dropped 6% - via the NY Post:

“Is it a coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s spin rate numbers went down [Thursday] after four minor leaguers got suspended for 10 games?” Donaldson told reporters. “Is that possible? I don’t know. Maybe. At the same time, with this situation, they’ve let guys do it.”

Meanwhile, those who track such 'spin rates' say Bauer's fell by 10% in his first outing after the suspensions.  So, are they no longer using the 'sticky-stuff', or did they each have a bad outing?

However, the latest to fall under the microscope is the Mets' Jacob deGrom, among the most dominant in the game. The 'evidence', this video posted on Twitter showing deGrom briefly touching his belt. What do you think?

Sounds like the fan who posted it is grasping at straws and might just be jealous of the best pitcher in baseball. It's certainly falls short of the pine-tar smudge on the neck of former Yankee Michael Pineda who was literally caught wearing the evidence.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 23: Home plate umpire Gerry Davis checks out a substance on the neck of Michael Pineda #35 of the New York Yankees before throwing him out of the game in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Fenway Park on April 23, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Moving on to the NBA. Congratulations to the Brooklyn Nets for an absolute thrashing (125-86) of the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, giving Kevin Durant and company at 2-0 lead in the best of seven series.

Two things here. I'll get back to the final score in a moment. Let's fast forward to the post-game interview of KD, who missed the entire year last season because of a torn Achilles.

In the video below, you'll hear the reporter ask Durant, one of the best in the game, if he thought he could be this good - following his 32 point performance - in coming back from that awful injury?

KD's reply: Is that a real question? What do you want me to say. Of course I did.

This is the latest in ongoing series of never ending stupid questions that athletes are asked.

Among the gems I've heard, that you can hear after listening to almost any professional sporting game:

  • Did you guys actually think you could win?
  • Are you expecting (opposing team) to bring their A game and be ready play?
  • How important was it to come out and get a win tonight?

Brilliant questions!

Suggested answers:

  • No, I never thought we'd ever win
  • No hopefully they all get COVID and have to forfeit before the game
  • It wasn't that important, we were trying to lose but (opposing team) wouldn't let us

Sorry, I had to vent there. It's drives me crazy every time I hear these stupid, stupid questions.

Finally, getting back to another point from Monday's Nets-Bucks game. Brooklyn wound up winning by 39-points (125-86), and at one point in the fourth quarter they led by 49!!!

Yes, virtually 50-freakin'-points in a PLAYOFF GAME!!!

The NBA has just recently expanded it's playoff format in the last two years, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How about this: let's include fewer teams.

Anytime your opponent has you by 50 points a 'playoff' game it makes me think you either don't deserve to be the 'playoffs' and the field of playoff teams is too big. Or, how about a new mercy rule: When you're down by 50 points in a playoff game you automatically forfeit that game and the rest of the series.

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LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.


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