Max Scherzer Suspended 10 Games After Sticky Stuff Ejection

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Max Scherzer Suspended 10 Games After Sticky Stuff Ejection

Chicago Cubs

UPDATE 3: Sure enough, Max Scherzer has been suspended under the rules prohibiting the use of foreign substances. You can bet he’s going to appeal.

As you may recall, Scherzer cannot be replaced on the 26-man roster while suspended, so if he loses the appeal, the Mets will have to play 10 days shorthanded. All for rosin. Or maybe more, if you ask MLB …

*original post and updates follow*

Oh my. This is a big one. It’s going to get a lot of folks really angry, and a lot of others eating a lot of popcorn.

New York Mets ace Max Scherzer was just ejected from the game following an inspection for sticky stuff. He was NOT happy about it:

Although it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a sticky stuff ejection, the subject came under renewed scrutiny this spring with data last year suggesting usage was on the rise again. The ejection is supposed to be accompanied by a ten-game suspension, where the team cannot replace the player on the roster.

The previous inning, Scherzer had his glove thoroughly checked during a sticky stuff inspection, and then apparently had to change gloves, which is really weird:

That part was reminiscent of a recent issue involving Yankees starter Domingo German, where he was found to have hands that were too sticky from – allegedly – using rosin between innings. That’s not illegal, but he was instructed to wash his hands. I expect Scherzer is going to say the same thing was happening here, that it was just rosin.

I expect we’ll be hearing a LOT more about this one very soon.

UPDATE: Sure enough, Scherzer says it was nothing but rosin:

The umpires, of course, had a different perspective:

Honestly, I tend to believe them both! I believe that Scherzer was only using rosin and sweat, but I also believe he/the Mets had figured out a way to make that as sticky as possible. The problem, of course, is that rosin is legal. We’ll see what the league has to say about this one.


  • More on the Max Scherzer ejection yesterday following an inspection for sticky stuff. As Scherzer explains it, he was using rosin and sweat to get his hand how he wanted it, was warned that it was too much/too sticky/kind of clumping, washed his hands (in front of an MLB official), did it again, and that time he got ejected:
  • Despite that explanation, and Scherzer’s emphatic statement that he wasn’t using anything illegal, the umpires just weren’t buying it:
  • That is about as firm as a rebuke can get. The umpires concluded that Scherzer HAD to have been using an illegal substance, and thus the ejection and the possible ten-game suspension forthcoming (officially, MLB has to review the reports and make a decision).
  • Is it possible they’re both right? Like, is it possible that Scherzer and the Mets have figured out a way to use rosin (legal) and sweat (legal) to make the hand extremely sticky? Could that explain why he – and Domingo German – was rosin’ing up in between innings, rather than on the mound like most pitchers? Maybe there’s a technique that you need to do off the field to get it just right. (And that assumes there isn’t something else at play, like sunscreen – it’s long been known that combining rosin with sunscreen can create “sticky stuff,” and that’s definitely barred.)
  • If so, Scherzer and the Mets could argue they aren’t breaking any rules, though they would obviously be outside the spirit of the ban on foreign substances. Also, there are prohibitions against using rosin in a way to circumvent the sticky stuff rules, so maybe this would fall under that? If rosin – which has a little tack to it, but is legal – can be used in this way to “manufacture” sticky stuff in between innings, is that going to be a serious problem league-wide? Is this just the start of another annoyingly gray area? Are a whole lot of pitchers and teams doing this, but now it’s just on the radar?

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.