Max Scherzer got himself into a pretty sticky situation this week. The Mets ace was ejected from Wednesday afternoon’s game due to an unusual amount of stickiness as a result of a mix of rosin and sweat, Scherzer claimed.
Scherzer had the option to appeal the automatic 10-game suspension, but as that appeal would’ve been heard by an MLB official, he accepted the punishment.
MLB insider Jon Heyman and Scherzer’s former teammate Tony Gwynn Jr. of the Audacy Original Podcast “Big Time Baseball” discussed how Scherzer was unfairly punished for a judgment call without any hard evidence.
Heyman mentioned that players testing positive for steroids and PEDs is evidence against them, whether they knew about it or not. With something like Scherzer’s sticky stuff, it’s more of a judgment call.
“In this case, I don’t like to impune somebody’s integrity over a judgment call, particularly when we’re talking about an umpire,” he said. “Now maybe Phil Cuzzi’s the one doing it right and everybody else is doing it wrong but it’s a little weird that all three pitchers who’ve been ‘busted’ were by Phil Cuzzi. There are 100 other umpires. Why does nobody else ever catch anybody? It’s a weird thing.”
It is a bit peculiar that the same umpire has caught all three pitchers that led to ejections for sticky stuff. There needs to be the same standard for everybody, Heyman said, because Cuzzi is busting people but no one else is.
Gwynn Jr. echoed Heyman’s sentiments.
“I, like you, don’t like the vague reasoning for ejecting Scherzer in this situation,” he said. “I can’t deal with the answer of ‘Man, that’s the most stickiest hand I’ve ever touched.’ That is not evidence against somebody. When you eject somebody for something like this you’re messing with somebody’s integrity at this point."
Heyman needs to see evidence as well.
“I’m with you. Stickiest, stickier, to me that’s not proof,” he said. “I need proof. I watch ‘Forensic Files’, they got to prove something. To me, they didn’t really have the goods on him and it’s unfortunate, to me.”
Unfortunately for the Mets, this isn’t “Forensic Files” and Scherzer was suspended on a judgment call without hard evidence.