Clarke Schmidt

Akshita Patel

After Domingo German’s Suspension, Yankees Clarke Schmidt Checked For “Sticky” Substance

The New York Yankees have been caught in all the wrong things since the start of this eventful week. First, Domingo German gets ejected and receives a 10-game suspension for overusing rosin. Secondly, Aaron Judge gets accused of cheating via stealing signs. Manager Aaron Boone also gets ejected for his wild protest. Next, the third base coach was yelled at for not following the position rule. Now, another alleged controversy has landed the Bronx Bombers in hot waters.

The sticky substance called “Rosin” is used by pitchers in baseball to get a better grip on the ball. However, there is a certain limit to it to refrain the throwers from gaining an unfair advantage. It’s the responsibility of the umpires to conduct the necessary checks if they get wind of any violation. However, the umpiring crew’s subjective and inconsistent decisions have raised many doubts about the efficacy of the said rule. The recent events that unfolded during the Yankees game further fueled the growing debate.


Yankees Clarke Schmidt Escapes Ejection After Being Checked For Foreign Substance Violation

Clarke Schmidt
New York Yankees starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt (36) walks back to the dugout after being relieved with bases loaded in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, May 14, 2023, in New York. John Minchillo – staff, AP

Just a week after Domingo German’s unexpected suspension, another New York Yankees pitcher faced the umpires heat. Clarke Schmidt made a start against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. After pitching four scoreless innings, Schmidt made his way to the mound for the fifth one. However, the umpires stopped him from entering the field as they suspected the pitcher of using banned foreign substances. They deemed Schmidt’s hands were sticky and dark and asked him to wash his hands. The pitcher followed the orders and was allowed to resume his start after a brief check. However, the Reds fumed over the decision as they believed the pitcher should have been ejected.

The umpiring crew was apparently satisfied with Clarke Schmidt‘s explanation of the condition of his hand. The pitcher said the sticky stuff was not on his palms but on the back of his wrist. It’s the result of a combination of sweat, rosin, and the fuzz on his glove. Schmidt argued that he is using a new glove that sheds some color and fuzz. The umpiring crew bought the pitcher’s plea and ruled out any case of violation or misconduct. This comes just a week after Clarke’s teammate, Domingo German, got tossed for violating the same rule. German was too asked to wash his hands, but when he returned, the results were unsatisfactory. Not only that but German also got slapped with a 10-day suspension.

Reds Manager Ejected For Protesting Against Clarke Schmidt’s Sticky Stuff Inspection

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell, left, speaks with umpire Pat Hoberg, right, after being ejected by home plate umpire Brian O’Nora, rear, during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the New York Yankees in Cincinnati, Friday, May 19, 2023. Jeff Dean – freelancer, FR171800 AP

The umpires cleared Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt of sticky substance usage after necessary checks. However, Cincinnati Reds’ manager strongly disagreed over the call. The rule says if any pitcher is found using any kind of foreign sticky substance over the set limit, he should be immediately ejected. However, a loophole suggests that the match officials have every right to ask the pitchers to wash their hands as a sign of warning if they are not too sure of the violation. The same loophole applied to Schmidt as he was allowed to resume pitching after washing his hands.

However, the Red’s manager, David Bell, barged into the field to protest the call. He said Schmidt violated the rule and should face ejection. The situation on the field got heated up, and the umpires decided to eject the Reds’ manager for violating the code of conduct. Further, Bell refused to address the issue in the post-game presser and said the whole world saw what happened, and it was obvious what Schmidt did. His talking and whining about it would not benefit his team. Hence, Bell wants to avoid addressing the issue and let the fans decide what is right or wrong.