MLB suspended New York Mets right-hander Max Scherzer 10 games for violating the league’s foreign-substance policy, the league announced Thursday.
Scherzer said he’s not appealing his ban because he doesn’t think he can win on appeal.
“I thought I was going get in front of a neutral arbitrator, but I wasn’t. It was going to be through MLB. Given that process, I wasn’t going to come out on top,” Scherzer said, according to SNY.
The star hurler was also fined $10,000, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Umpires ejected the 38-year-old from Wednesday’s contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers after they discovered a foreign substance on his glove and hand.
Scherzer was removed from the game between the third and fourth innings following a verbal dispute with umpire Phil Cuzzi after he was asked to change his glove and wash his hands following a routine foreign-substance check.
“Based on the umpires’ training to detect rosin on a pitcher’s hands, they concluded that the level of stickiness during the fourth-inning check was so extreme that it was inconsistent with the use of rosin and/or sweat alone,” the league said in a statement.
MLB added: “Consistent with official baseball rules, the umpires then appropriately ejected Mr. Scherzer from the game.”
The Mets ace said he followed an MLB official’s instructions in how he washed his hands, re-applied rosin, and mixed it with sweat before returning to pitch the fourth inning. Umpires told him that his hand was still too sticky, which led to the argument in which he was ejected.
“(Cuzzi) said my hand’s too sticky, and I said, ‘I swear on my kids’ life, I’m not using anything else. This is sweat and rosin. Sweat and rosin,'” Scherzer said, per SNY. “I keep saying it over and over, and they touch my hand, and they say, ‘It’s sticky.’ … And they threw me out because of that.”
Crew chief Dan Bellino said the level of stickiness on Scherzer’s hand was much worse than it was during the initial inspection.
“This was the stickiest that (a hand) has been since I’ve been inspecting hands, which now goes back three seasons,” he said, according to Healey.
Rosin, in certain circumstances, qualifies as an illegal substance, according to a memo sent to teams before the season began. Umpires approve one rosin bag before each game, and it’s brought to the mound by an MLB compliance officer. Any other sort of rosin application isn’t allowed.
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