Max Scherzer Starts To Strip On The Field As Baseball’s Weirdest New Rule Kicks In
The three-time Cy Young winner was inspected twice for illegal substances — and he wasn’t happy about it.
06/22/2021 10:27 PM ET
Updated Jun 23, 2021
Under the rule, umpires check each starting pitcher at least once a game for sticky substances used to doctor the baseball.
And Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer ― a three-time Cy Young winner ― didn’t look thrilled when it was his turn:
that umps will inspect the hats, gloves and belts during these routine checks but could also look elsewhere if they have cause for suspicion.
Opposing managers are also allowed to ask umps to check the pitcher, and Phillies manager Joe Girardi took advantage of that later in the game to demand another examination in the middle of an inning.
A clearly frustrated Scherzer tossed his glove, his cap and unbuckled his pants as the umps approached in what looked like the start of a mock striptease:
This is actually absurd. Max Scherzer just got checked AGAIN in the middle of the inning and is about to pull his pants down to get these people to leave him alone. pic.twitter.com/v6OXMpPOBn
It didn’t end there:
Max Scherzer just struck out J.T. Realmuto to end the fifth and stared at Joe Girardi the whole way to the dugout. When Girardi walked out to say something, Max held up his glove and hat again, taunting him.
Girardi was ejected.
Scherzer had eight strikeouts over five innings of work.
In another game later in the evening, A’s pitcher Sergio Romo went a step further with his own near-striptease during an inspection:
Oakland A’s reliever Sergio Romo was checked for “sticky stuff” and might have upstaged Max Scherzer in the process. pic.twitter.com/wL1jqt4CgE
While pitchers have long used sticky substances to grip the ball, more recent players allegedly have been using far tackier compounds that the MLB argues has changed the nature of the game and given them an unfair advantage.
Under the new rule, pitchers caught cheating will be suspended
for 10 games.
Baseball America notes
that this season has seen more strikeouts, fewer balls in play and “some of the lowest batting averages in history.”
Phillies manager Joe Girardi asked the umpires to check Max Scherzer for foreign substances
Scherzer and the Nationals were NOT happy pic.twitter.com/c4Fv4wV63d
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