CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you haven't been paying attention to professional baseball, then you probably haven't seen an umpire inspect a pitcher's glove, hat and even inner belt for foreign substances.
The inspections are part of baseball's plans to enforce two rules that have been largely overlooked for the past years about foreign substances.
The first is Rule 3.01, which states that "no player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sandpaper, emery-paper or other foreign substance.”
The second rule is Rule 6.02 and that expands upon the previous.
It states that a pitcher may not "apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball;" "deface the ball in any manner;" throw a shine ball, spit ball, mud ball, or emery ball; "have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance;" or "attach anything to his hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, bracelet, etc.)"
Now umpires are checking a pitcher's equipment after innings for violations of these rules.
Hooks pitcher Layne Henderson, is one of the first pitchers on the team to undergo an inspection.
"It's definitely something different," said Henderson. "I wouldn't say it's frustrating cause you have nothing to hide, you aren't doing it anyways."
The inspection, according to Henderson, was routine.
"They say let me see that hat, can I see your glove and just flip the belt," added Henderson. "It was like five seconds. It wasn't too bad."
Hooks manager Gregorio Petit says his players have nothing to hide.
"Our guys do not use it at all," said Petit. "They haven't been using anything."
And while the new rules are a part of the game and more than likely here to stay, it could mess up the routine or the flow of a pitcher during a good outing.
"If he is coming out of a good inning, getting a rhythm going on, his head goes to that," Petit said. "It's going to be a part of getting used to it."
Meanwhile in Major League Baseball, the pitchers are not having a fun time adapting to the change.
Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer was seen throwing his glove and hat to the ground in anger.
And Oakland A's pitcher Sergio Romo nearly pulled down his pants in protest.
"It's pretty comical because if you don't have something to hide it's fine," laughed Henderson when asked about the MLB outbursts.