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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

Max Scherzer suspended for violating MLB foreign substance policy

Max Scherzer ready to pitch

May 13, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer has been suspended 10 games by MLB for violating the league’s foreign substance policy.

The league on Thursday announced the news regarding Scherzer. They explained exactly what happened between Scherzer and the umpiring crew for Wednesday’s game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers that resulted in the pitcher’s ejection prior to the bottom of the fourth inning.

Scherzer was told to wash his hands following an inspection after the second inning and told he would be checked prior to pitching the third inning. During the following check, Scherzer’s hand was said to be clean, but umpires found a sticky substance in his glove, which is why umpire Phil Cuzzi told Scherzer to change his glove.

They checked Scherzer again prior to the fourth inning and found the pitcher’s hand to be stickier than it was during the second inning check. They felt based on their training that Scherzer was using something beyond just sweat and rosin. The umpires also said they had difficulty getting the sticky substance off their own hands for several innings.

MLB also noted in their announcement that violations can be triggered not only by the use of foreign substances, but also by either excessively using rosin/sweat and/or misapplying it by placing it on equipment (like a glove) or part of a uniform.

Here is the full announcement:

Scherzer insisted after the game that he was not using anything illegal and that he was just using sweat and rosin. While that may be true, that wouldn’t necessarily exculpate him.

If he Scherzer used an excessive amount of rosin, or placed the rosin in his glove, that would violate MLB rules. That explains why he has been handed an automatic 10-game suspension, which costs the pitcher two starts.

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