New York Mets ace Max Scherzer is facing a potential 10-game suspension after he was ejected from Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers following a substance check in the fourth inning where umpires found a sticky substance on his hand.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner was tossed from the game after repeated checks from umpire Phil Cuzzi and Dan Bellino, the crew chief.
Scherzer explained that he had simply used rosin and washed his hands with alcohol after the second inning following Cuzzi’s inspection. But, in the third inning, Cuzzi noted that the pitcher’s glove was still “sticky,” likely from too much rosin, and he ordered Scherzer to change gloves.
METS’ MAX SCHERZER SAYS HE ONLY HAD SWEAT AND ROSIN ON HIS HANDS: ‘I SWEAR ON MY KIDS’ LIVES’
Following another check before the fourth and a heated conversation with umpires, Scherzer was finally ejected.
“After that third inning, I’m in front of the MLB official that’s underneath here. I wash my hand with alcohol in front of the official. I then apply rosin and then I grab sweat. When I then go back out there and Phil Cuzzi says my hand’s too sticky,” Scherzer said.
“Yes, when you use sweat and rosin, your hand is sticky. But I don’t get how I get ejected when I’m in front of an MLB official doing exactly what you want and being deemed my hand is too sticky when I’m using legal substance. I do not understand that.”
Scherzer now faces a potential 10-game suspension.
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“Now it’s becoming a legal matter and I don’t want to comment on what happens next if I get suspended and all that,” he said.
Scherzer will have the ability to appeal any suspension. MLB pitchers Hector Santiago and Caleb Smith appealed their suspensions in 2021 after they were deemed to have been using a foreign substance. Both Santiago and Smith’s suspensions were eventually upheld by the MLB. According to the New York Post, Cuzzi was involved in both those ejections.
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“Both Phil and I touched his hand,” Bellino said through a pool reporter. “As far as stickiness, level of stickiness, this was the stickiest that it has been since I’ve been inspecting hands, which now goes back three seasons.”
He continued: “Compared to the first inning, the level of stickiness, it was so sticky that when we touched his hand, our fingers were sticking to his hand. And whatever was on there remained on our fingers afterward for a couple innings, where you could still feel that the fingers were sticking together.”
Scherzer had pitched three scoreless innings of one-hit ball before his early exit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.