Sticky Situation: Mets Pitcher Gets Ejected from Game

Max Scherzer is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he found himself in a sticky situation on Wednesday night when he was ejected from a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers for allegedly using a foreign substance on his glove and hand. Here’s what happened and why it matters.

Foreign substances are any materials that pitchers apply to the baseball or their body parts to alter the ball’s movement or improve their grip. Examples of foreign substances include pine tar, sunscreen, spider tack, and even saliva. Pitchers use these substances to increase the spin rate of the ball, which makes it harder for hitters to hit. However, using foreign substances is against the rules of baseball and can result in ejections and suspensions.

The umpires checked Scherzer as part of MLB’s new crackdown on foreign substances, which started on Monday. Under the new policy, umpires can inspect pitchers at any time during the game, especially if they suspect them of using illegal substances or if the opposing manager requests a check. The umpires checked Scherzer three times in four innings, twice at their own discretion and once at the request of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

The first time they checked Scherzer, after the second inning, they found nothing wrong with his glove or hand. The second time they checked him, before the third inning, they noticed that his glove was sticky and ordered him to change it. Scherzer complied and pitched a perfect inning with a new glove. The third time they checked him, before the fourth inning, they felt that his hand was too sticky and ejected him from the game.

Scherzer was furious about the ejection and argued with the umpires. He claimed that he was only using rosin and sweat, which are legal and common for pitchers to use. He said that his hand was “clumpy” from the rosin and sweat and that he washed it with alcohol and rosin in front of an MLB official before returning to the mound. He said he would have to be an “absolute idiot” to use anything else when he knew he was going to be checked.

The home plate umpire Dan Bellino said that Scherzer’s hand was the stickiest he had ever seen in three seasons of inspecting pitchers’ hands. He said that when they touched his hand, their fingers were sticking to his hand and that whatever was on there remained on their fingers for a few innings afterwards. He said that it was “clearly something that went too far” and “over the line”.

Scherzer faces a possible 10-game suspension for using a foreign substance, pending an investigation by MLB. He could also appeal the suspension if he believes he was wrongly accused. The Mets could also lose one of their best pitchers for a significant period of time, which could hurt their chances of winning their division. The Dodgers could also face criticism for requesting a check on Scherzer, which some might see as gamesmanship or an attempt to disrupt his rhythm.

The incident highlights the controversy and confusion surrounding MLB’s new policy on foreign substances. Some pitchers have complained that the policy is unfair and inconsistent, while some hitters have supported it as a way to level the playing field. Some managers have used their right to request checks as a strategic tool or a way to get under their opponents’ skin. Some fans have booed or cheered the checks as a sign of support or disdain for their teams or players. The policy has also sparked debates about how much foreign substances affect pitching performance and whether MLB should allow some substances or none at all.

The policy is likely to remain in place for the rest of the season, but it could be revised or modified in the future based on feedback from players, managers, umpires, and fans. Until then, pitchers will have to be careful about what they put on their hands or gloves, and umpires will have to be vigilant about enforcing the rules.


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