Pitcher suggests MLB exec encouraged use of sticky stuff when he worked for Marlins

By , Audacy Sports

MLB players continue to rail against league leadership following the recent crackdown on the use of sticky foreign substances by pitchers.

Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen this week joined the many who have sounded off about what they say is the league's arbitrary and bad faith maneuverings around substances including the more exotic, such as the controversial adhesive Spider Tack, to the more mundane like rosin and sunscreen.

Gallen, a former Cardinals and Marlins farmhand, suggested on Wednesday that a former Miami executive who now works in the MLB league offices was an advocate for using sticky substances during his time with the team.

"He was in charge of an organization that was definitely at one point saying, 'Hey, you're going to need these things to help you,'" Gallen told reporters. "You can read between the lines."

Gallen was referring to MLB president of on-field operations Michael Hill, according to Mike Axisa of CBS Sports. Hill was previously a long-tenured executive with the Marlins, including when Gallen was in the organization, until he was let go amid a front-office shakeup last offseason.

Even though he wasn't named explicitly by Gallen, Hill responded directly to the implication, issuing a strong denial and suggesting Gallen was acting at the behest of his representative, the controversial super agent Scott Boras.

"It is predictable that a player represented by a particular agent would make false accusations about me given my current role and the agent's obvious desire to distract people from the current issues surrounding the use of foreign substances. The assertions, however, are completely false."

Gallen also called out MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, suggesting he had dropped the ball by not publicly addressing the league's findings of its studies on ball doctoring.

Hill issued the memo announcing the league's clampdown on sticky stuff, which apparently brought him into Gallen's sites. The right-hander was drafted by the Cardinals and traded to the Marlins in 2016. Miami sent him to Arizona following the 2017 season.

Gallen was roughed up in his first outing since May 7 on Thursday, surrendering four earned runs in 2 2/3 innings and taking the loss against the Giants in San Francisco. The Dbacks set an ignominious MLB record with their 23rd consecutive defeat on the road.

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