On Wednesday, May 26th, Cardinals RHP Giovanny Gallegos was forced to change hats before pitching late in the game against the Chicago White Sox. Umpire Joe West noticed a foreign substance on the bill of the cap and called for the switch. West ejected Cardinals Manager Mike Schildt for arguing the decision.
Gallegos, a very good pitcher, would pitch 1.2 innings without allowing a baserunner. Mike Schildt said after the game that someone told him that the change in hats didn’t seem to affect his pitching at all, hinting that whatever was on his hat wasn’t used for cheating purposes. Schildt went on a long rant after the game to the press about the dilemma that the MLB is in, and his thoughts on how they are handling it. Here are his comments to the press:
His argument is that there are a handful of pitchers in the MLB that are using concocted substances that are giving them a serious advantage, and that many of them aren’t even trying to hide it. One that comes to mind is James Karinchak of the Cleveland Indians. See the video below of him clearly reaching into his glove for a substance.
Schildt indicates that some pitchers have been paid big contracts based on their success while using lab-created substances. He doesn’t name any names, but it seems apparent around the league that players and teams know who these guys are. Schildt says he is 100% positive that his team is only using a mixture of “rosin and some sunscreen,” and hitters don’t mind because the result is better control. The people that are cheating are using things to spin and move the baseball in unnatural ways. I agree that if the MLB is trying to police this they are going after it terribly.
They started off the season confiscating balls from a Trevor Bauer start which ruffled a lot of feathers. They had no evidence that Bauer was using anything, and nothing ever came of it. Now an umpire makes a pitcher change his hat, but that’s what every pitcher’s hat looks like. They are allowing pitchers to very clearly go into their glove or sleeve for something, but they go after a guy because his hat has some sort of stain on it.
The MLB needs to pick a lane, either purge any foreign substances, or legalize something that every pitcher can use.