Umpire expels Diamondbacks pitcher after finding foreign substance in his glove

The left-handed pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Caleb smith, it was expelled after in the top of the eighth inning of the D-backs’ 4-2 win over the Phillies on Wednesday, the umpires said they found a foreign substance on his glove. Smith said it was just a combination of resin and dirt and not something illegal. Despite his claim, the pitcher was deactivated from the game.

According to the rules, a player who possesses or applies foreign substances in violation of the rules will be immediately expelled from the game and suspended (with pay) for 10 games. The referee team will be the sole judge as to whether the rules have been violated. The use of foreign substances is not subject to challenge through the replay review system.

“He has a blue leather lining on the inside of his glove, so he stood out quite a bit,” said crew chief Tom Hallion. “There were two dark areas on the glove, I’ll call them darker, one on the left side and one on the right side of the heel. We touched them, like we turned the glove over to see if there was anywhere else that had something. So there were the two points that [parecían] a strange substance that had a sticky feeling. “

Smith entered the game with one out in the sixth and, like all relievers, had his glove checked at the end of his first inning.

The umpire who inspected his glove after the top of the sixth was Phil Cuzzi, who was working third base. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary on that inspection, apparently, as Smith was allowed to continue pitching.

After the eighth inning, during which he allowed a home run to Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera, Smith was again inspected by Cuzzi, who this time noticed the sticky spots and called the other umpires to discuss; eventually they expelled Smith.

“It’s dirt,” Smith said. “The inside of my glove is sky blue, where my hand goes is blue. Last time I checked, we play baseball and you get dirty at baseball; you sweat a lot. I touch the ground a lot. There is no foreign substance there. There is no pine tar. There’s nothing there. I don’t use it. I was very surprised. He checked it the first time and everything was fine. Nothing changed between the time he checked it for the first time and the last time he checked it and had a problem. I have no idea. “

The glove was immediately removed from the field and will be sent to Major League Baseball, which will test the areas to determine what the substance is. Hallion didn’t want to speculate what the substance was.

“I’m not going to stand here and tell you what exactly it was,” Hallion said. “We don’t have that kind of training. If you want to say it was resin, I’ll let the majors decide if it was or not. It’s out of our hands. I’ll write the report, send it out tonight, they’ll get the glove tomorrow and then it. What they do will be up to them. “

While Smith is confident that the tests will not show any illegal substances, he is concerned that his reputation will be damaged in the meantime.

“I’m really [enfadado]”said Smith.” If I was cheating, I’d be the first to say, ‘Hey, you caught me, I was cheating.’ “I’m not stupid. I know the main two things they check are your glove and your hat. wearing something, and it wasn’t, I wouldn’t put it on my glove or hat. That’s just ignorant. I guess they’re saying I cheated. And just doing that drag my name through the mud. “

Smith said he wipes his hands with the dirt on the back of the pitching mound often as a way to dry his hands of sweat. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo did not criticize the umpire team, but made it clear that Smith had their support.

“Look, I believe my player,” Lovullo said. “I’m going to support my player. He told me that nothing malicious was happening. I asked him to see his hand and his hand was completely dry. He just maintained that those little hot spots were the result of the rosin bag. It’s in the hands of the league right now.

They will examine the glove and determine exactly what was there and what was causing the stickiness. You can see that Caleb goes to the ground a lot to get his hands dirty. He has a lot of dirt in his hands. the side of your pant leg as a result of wiping dirt off your hand. There is nothing in his hand that, in my opinion, has caused him to manipulate the baseball. “

Steve Gilbert / MLB.com

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