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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

MLB announces punishment for Astros’ Ronel Blanco over foreign substance

Umpires doing a substance check on Ronel Blanco

Major League Baseball has rendered their verdict on Ronel Blanco less than 24 hours after he was caught with a foreign substance in his glove.

The Houston Astros right-hander Blanco was ejected from Tuesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics. At the start of the fourth inning, the umpires conducted a foreign-substance check on Blanco and found sticky material inside of his glove.

First-base umpire Erich Bacchus later called the substance inside Blanco’s glove “the stickiest stuff I’ve felt.”

On Wednesday, the league office announced Blanco’s punishment. He is being suspended for ten games and also being fined an undisclosed amount. Blanco can begin serving the suspension on Wednesday night but also has the oppportunity to appeal.

The 30-year-old Blanco had been one of the better stories of the year for the struggling 17-25 Astros. He threw a no-hitter in his first start of the season and came really close to making it an improbable two no-hitters in a row. Overall in 2024, Blanco has a 4-0 record with a 2.09 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

Ten games and a fine is generally the standard MLB suspension for a foreign substance violation. But this episode with Blanco will not do much to shake the Astros’ lasting reputation as cheaters.

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