- MLB started taking a more proactive approach to preventing pitchers from using foreign substances.
- Max Scherzer and Sergio Romo were both subject to checks by umpires in their games on Tuesday.
- Both pitchers appeared ready to take their pants off to prove they were pitching clean.
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Major League Baseball is taking a more aggressive approach to preventing pitchers from using foreign substances on the mound, and pitchers are not happy.
On Tuesday night, Nationals ace Max Scherzer was subject to two checks by the umpires through his first three innings pitched. When Phillies manager Joe Girardi called for a third check in the fourth inning, Scherzer was visibly miffed, theatrically taking off his hat and quickly unbuckling his belt to show he had nothing on him.
By the looks of it, Scherzer was ready to bare all to prove he was pitching clean.
-FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 23, 2021
Once Scherzer closed out the inning, he stared down Girardi as he walked to the dugout. Girardi came out to have some words and was promptly ejected.
After the game, Scherzer didn’t hold back.
“I would have to be an absolute fool to actually use something tonight when everybody’s antenna is so far high they’d look for anything,” Scherzer said. “I have absolutely zero on me. I have nothing on me. Check whatever you want. I’ll take off all my clothes if you want to see me.”
Scherzer was not the only pitcher ready to get naked to prove their innocence.
Later in the night, Oakland A’s reliever Sergio Romo had a similar reaction when dealing with a check, going as far as to pull his pants down incredulously.
-The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) June 23, 2021
Major League Baseball did this to themselves. For years, pitchers have used various substances to better control the ball coming out of their hands. After the league suddenly announced its new enforcement of the rules against foreign substances, several star pitchers voiced their concern about the rule.
Now, the league is seeing some of those frustrations play out on the field. Let’s hope everyone keeps their pants on.