Max Scherzer, back on the mound for the first time in 11 days, appeared very unhappy to return to the new, TSA-style screening process for pitchers in a quest to rid the game of sticky stuff.
And it only got worse.
First, here’s Scherzer getting his initial check – all pitchers do – and seeming none too thrilled about it:
max scherzer is pissed about getting checked for using a foreign substance pic.twitter.com/hcHa6vhVew
— OPT (@OnePursuitTakes) June 22, 2021
But then, a couple innings later, the opposing manager, Joe Girardi, who is permitted to request additional checks if he believes there is something going on, apparently asked for another check. Scherzer HAD it:
This is incredible.
Joe Girardi asked the umpires to check Max Scherzer for sticky stuff again.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 23, 2021
I got nothing. I got nothing. You can see Scherzer saying it. He is pissed. I would be, too, if I was clean and was getting bugged like that. And just so you know, yes, manager’s can be subject to discipline if they use moments like that just to try to disrupt a pitcher:
From MLB's memo to teams last week:
"Please note that a manager will be subject to discipline if he makes the request in bad faith (e.g., a request intended to disrupt the pitcher in a critical game situation, a routine request that is not based on observable evidence, etc.)"
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) June 23, 2021
Note, by the way: Scherzer’s night opened with spin rates massively down, but they have improved slightly as the night has gone on. For what it’s worth.
UPDATE: It got more ridiculous, with Girardi getting himself ejected. That, and the discussion after the game here.