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Curt Schilling rips ‘incoherent’ MLB rules that led to Mets’ Max Scherzer ejection

Curt Schilling, host of "The Curt Schilling Baseball Show" on OutKick, explained why he was "blown away by umpires ejecting New York Mets starter Max Scherzer on Wednesday.

Former MLB starter Curt Schilling could not believe New York Mets starter Max Scherzer was tossed from his outing on Wednesday afternoon against the Los Angeles Dodgers for what umpires believed was him cheating with a foreign substance. 

And Schilling doesn’t want to see Scherzer banned a single game. 

Scherzer said, "I swear on my kids’ lives," that the stickiness that umpire Phil Cuzzi felt on his hand in between innings was the mixture of sweat and rosin from the rosin bag that MLB allows behind the mound each game for pitchers. Scherzer was told to fix the problem that Cuzzi had with the stickiness by washing off his hand with alcohol, which was done in front of an MLB official. He even got a new glove because Cuzzi thought that was too sticky as well. 


Scherzer went back out to pitch the third inning but was ejected before he could go out to the mound for the fourth inning. 

Schilling couldn’t believe it.

"Phil Cuzzi’s a veteran umpire," he began on OutKick’s "The Curt Schilling Baseball Show." "I’m blown away by the fact that they didn’t understand that whole concept to any degree. It kind of makes sense because umpires don’t use rosin, and they’re probably not around it a lot, and they probably look at it a lot less than you think. The fact of the matter is this is another example of the thought process behind a rule being incoherent."


MLB’s crackdown on sticky stuff for pitchers brought about these between-innings checks, of which Scherzer initially was not a fan (he previously showed up an umpire by sarcastically going to unbuckle his pants during one of his first in-game checks). Here’s what MLB states is the rule behind the use of rosin.

"Player use of rosin always must be consistent with the requirements and expectations of the official baseball rules," the rule book reads. "When used excessively or otherwise misapplied, i.e. to gloves or other parts of the uniform, rosin may be determined by the umpires to be a prohibited foreign substance, the use of which may subject a player to ejection and discipline."

Cuzzi clearly thought it was excessive use, but Schilling also doesn’t blame Cuzzi for how he reacted. MLB’s ruling is too broad in his mind.

"This feels very liberal in a sense. There is no definition there," Schilling said of the rule. "The ambiguity there is intentional and on purpose. So, the umpires, I don’t blame them for how they act or react. They’re not really given a set of rules. What is consistent usage within the rules? There’s no definitive rule around it."

SNY reported Thursday that "everyone in baseball knows" Scherzer is going to get some type of suspension for his ejection. Schilling is hoping that’s not the case.

"A horrible decision that I would be stunned if he’d [be] banned even a game simply because he was using a substance available to him to the best of his ability to use it," he said.

Here’s Scherzer divulging his side of the story following the game.


"After the second inning, my hand, it was a little clumpy from the rosin. That’s why it was clumpy. Phil [Cuzzi] told me to wash it off. So, I washed it off. Came back out there after the third, I washed it with alcohol, and when I went back out there, the alcohol for a little bit there can be sticky in rosin. That can happen. So, he’s like, ‘That’s too sticky. You need to go back in there and wash it off again and reapply the rosin.’"

"And so I did that, and at the same time, he thought my glove had too much rosin on it. And I was like, ‘OK, if that’s a problem, there’s nothing going on.’ He’s like, ‘You need a new glove.’ OK, so I come back out, pitched the third and knew I was going to get checked in the fourth, so I would have to be an absolute idiot to try to do anything when I’m coming back out there in the fourth."

"After that third inning, I’m in front of the MLB official that’s underneath here. I wash my hand with alcohol in front of the official. I then apply rosin and then I grab sweat. When I then go back out there, and Phil Cuzzi says my hand’s too sticky. Yes, when you use sweat and rosin, your hand is sticky. But I don’t get how I get ejected when I’m in front of an MLB official doing exactly what you want and being deemed my hand is too sticky when I’m using [a] legal substance. I do not understand that."

Umpire Dan Bellino addressed the situation to a pool reporter, per, saying Scherzer’s hand "was so sticky that when we touched his hand, our fingers were sticking to his hand. And whatever was on there remained on our fingers afterwards for a couple innings."

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