Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench told CNBC that the headlines about pitchers using pine tar or other sticky substances on baseballs shouldn’t come as a surprise to fans.
“Yeah, they use pine tar, of course they use pine tar, everyone has used pine tar since I was a rookie in 1967,” said the former Cincinnati Reds catcher.
“Don’t talk up, these are the things the pitcher has to do,” said Bench. “A little bit of pine tar has never done any harm, come on. Hold on tight
Bench added that the baseball’s seam has gotten smaller since his pitching days – using a sticky substance on the ball gives the pitcher something to hold onto, he said.
MLB officials are considering cracking down as major league pitchers dominate more than ever. The league has seen six no-hitters this season breaking the 1884 record of eight.
Insiders say a problem might be what’s on the hands of the jugs, like pine tar or a sticky glue called “spider tack”. Last week the league suspended four minor league pitchers for illegally using foreign substances on baseballs.
However, Bench pointed to below average hits during a Thursday night interview in The News with Shepard Smith.