Thursday, April 20, 2023

Mets' Scherzer Suspended 10 Games After Ejection Wednesday

Max Scherzer pitching during his only home start this season, on April 10 against San Diego. Photo by Jason Schott.


Mets ace Max Scherzer was issued a 10-game suspension and a fine, which was undisclosed, by Major League Baseball on Thursday afternoon for his ejection in Wednesday's game at the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was found to have a foreign substance on his hand. On Friday morning, Scherzer decided he would not appeal and will accept this ruling.

The statement from the league details the sequence of events examining Scherzer, how rosin can me misused, and why this action was taken: "MLB reviewed relevant video and first-person reports, including a report from the umpiring crew led by Crew Chief Dan Bellino. Despite having been warned earlier in the game, including being required to make an equipment change, Mr. Scherzer was found to be in violation of the foreign substance prohibitions of the Official Baseball Rules prior to the bottom of the fourth inning. After being checked at the conclusion of the second inning, Mr. Scherzer was told to wash his hands prior to returning for the next inning, and that he would be inspected again prior to the third inning. When Mr. Scherzer was inspected prior to pitching in the third inning, the umpires found that his pitching hand was clean, but found a sticky substance in the pocket of his glove, and Mr. Scherzer was told to replace his glove. The umpires inspected Mr. Scherzer for a final time when he was walking to the mound to pitch in the fourth inning, and found that Mr. Scherzer's throwing hand was even more glossy and sticky than it was during the second inning inspection, despite not yet even throwing a pitch. Based on the umpires' training to detect rosin on a pitcher's hands, they concluded that the level of stickiness during the fourth inning check was so extreme that it was inconsistent with the use of rosin and/or sweat alone. Both umpires reported difficulty removing the substance from their own hands for multiple innings afterward. Consistent with the official Baseball Rules, the umpires then appropriately ejected Mr. Scherzer from the game.

"MLB annually distributes guidance to Clubs and Players covering the rules prohibiting the use of foreign substances, including the enforcement measures that the umpires will take on the field. As recently as March 16, 2023, all 30 clubs were reminded that, '(P)layer use of rosin must always be consistent with the requirements and expectations of the Official Baseball Rules. When used excessively or otherwise misapplied (i.e., to gloves or other parts of the uniform), rosin may be determined by the umpires to be a prohibited foreign substance, the use of which may be subject to ejection and discipline. See OBR 3.01 and OBR 6.02 (d). Moreover, players may not intentionally combine rosin with other substances (e.g., sunscreen) to create additional tackiness."

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