Max Scherzer Proclaims Innocence After Ejection For Illegal Substance
New York Mets ace pitcher Max Scherzer has repeatedly defended his actions following an incident Wednesday in which the star was ejected for allegedly using an illegal substance on the mound. Scherzer faces a 10-day suspension for the violation but can appeal the decision.
Max Scherzer faces an automatic 10-game suspension, which can be appealed.
— ESPN (@espn) April 19, 2023
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Scherzer was ejected before the fourth inning of his start Wednesday on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers after a heated discussion with multiple umpires. He had already been checked for substances earlier on and had been forced to switch gloves after the first inspection. Umpires were still not satisfied with the substance on Scherzer’s hands during the second inspection despite the ace’s pleas that it was “just rosin.”
“He said my hand is too sticky,” Scherzer told SNY after the game. “I said, ‘I swear on my kids’ lives, I’m not using anything else. This is sweat and rosin. Sweat and rosin.’ I keep saying it over and over, and they touch my hand, they say it’s sticky. I say, ‘Yes, it is, because it’s sweat and rosin.’ And they say it’s too sticky. They threw me out because of that.”
Max Scherzer was ejected between innings after a heated conversation with the umpiring crew pic.twitter.com/mqMkOnzchb
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 19, 2023
Despite Scherzer’s claim that the umpires ejected him for arguing, rather than using an illegal substance, the ace pitcher will reportedly still have to serve an automatic 10-game suspension, which will be preceded by a hearing. Scherzer reserves the right to appeal the decision.
For their part, umpires stood by their decision to eject the future Hall-of-Famer, arguing that the substances on Scherzer’s hands exceeded anything they had seen previously.
“It was far more than we have ever seen before on a pitcher in live action and we understand the repercussions of removing a pitcher from the game, we take that very seriously and with the training we have been given by Major League Baseball to check … this is clearly something that went too far, it went over the line,” home plate umpire Dan Bellini said, according to NJ.com.
Over the course of the early 2023 season, three pitchers have now been ejected for the use of illegal substances. All three inspections have been carried out by umpire Phil Cuzzi.
Scherzer’s ejection and potential suspension come at a poor time for the Mets, who have had to start the season without starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Jose Quintana due to injuries. The team also recently lost Carlos Carrasco to injury as well and was already calling up minor-league arms to compensate for the depleted rotation.
Despite Scherzer’s ejection, New York still defeated former Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard and Los Angeles 5-3, clinching a series victory on the road against the West Coast rival. Brandon Nimmo went 5-for-5 in the game, and his go-ahead home run in the fifth inning was met with “Do it for Max” chants in the Mets dugout.
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