It didn't used to be. Back in the heyday of baseball, the sport featured such excitements as:

  • Batters would sharpen the spikes on their shoes before going up to bat, so that when they slide into first base the baseman would get a nice little laceration as a reminder of who he'd been playing against. Some of the more successful hitters would make a show of filing the spikes just before they went up to bat.

  • Pitchers would throw spitballs and get away with it. A little spit on the ball and a careful throw would make a pitch curve wildly before reaching the strike zone.

  • The relief pitcher used to be a rare occurrence. It used to be that a starting pitcher would be expected to pitch for all nine innings plus any extra innings in event of a tie game. Most endurance pitchers lose their arm in the last couple innings of a game, so these last innings were a chance for the opposing team's batters to pull off some runs that wouldn't be possible at the start or middle of the game.