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Latest “Sticky Stuff” Ejection Could Carry Stiff Penalty

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz was ejected from Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs after umpires found alleged “sticky stuff” on his hand. The incident occurred before he threw a single pitch. As the umpiring crew inspected Diaz’s hand and glove after he jogged in from the bullpen, they discovered an apparent foreign substance on his hand and threw him out. Under MLB’s current policy, an ejection for “sticky stuff” carries an automatic 10-game suspension. If that is confirmed to be the reason, the Mets will go without Diaz into early July. It would be a tough blow for a Mets team starting to turn things around, and also for Diaz, who’s had his share of recent hurdles, including a lengthy rehab from a severe injury. Despite the ejection, the Mets held on to beat the Cubs 5-2.

Edwin Diaz Ejected with Apparent “Sticky Stuff” On Hand

There was little consensus on the merits of Diaz’s ejection. The one undisputed fact: there was something on Diaz’s hand.  But while the umpires deemed whatever was on there to be an illegal substance, David Cone, himself a former pitcher on the broadcast for ESPN, said that rosin and/or other legal substances (like sweat) can produce that appearance on the hand.

Another early controversy following the incident is the inconsistent enforcement of the new rules over the last few seasons. Sometimes, umpires will simply ask the pitcher to wash their hands if a questionable substance is spotted. However, according to Diaz after the game, he was never given the option to do so. This has happened in some prior incidents, with pitchers ejected as soon as something questionable is spotted.

Assuming Diaz is suspended, the Mets will be without their closer for an important stretch of games. They play two against the New York Yankees this week, host the Houston Astros for three this weekend, then four against the Washington Nationals next week. Diaz would be eligible to return in the middle of the Mets’ series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Edwin Diaz would be the third Met out of seven total MLB pitchers to be suspended for sticky stuff. The others were Max Scherzer and Drew Smith.


Photo Credit: © Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports


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