MLB’s new sticky substance rules are already wreaking havoc and resulted in a feud between Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Phillies manager Joe Girardi on the second day since their implementation.
Scherzer was tested for foreign substances three times in his first four innings against Philadelphia. He came back clean every time. The Washington starter did not look happy with his first check of the game after the first quarter.
That said, all starters will be checked for foreign substances under the new MLB protocols, so that was planned.
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What was not expected was that Scherzer would also be checked out after the third set. He finally pulled the line when Girardi called for Scherzer to be checked midway through the fourth inning.
The feud between Scherzer and Girardi reached its boiling point in the fifth inning. Scherzer watched Girardi as he returned to the dugout after taking out the Phillies in order, and Girardi took offense. He ran out of the canoe yelling at Scherzer and was thrown as the launcher laughed at him from a distance.
Max Scherzer looks at Joe Girardi, Joe gets out of the canoe and challenges him then gets thrown, Max shows his glove and hat pic.twitter.com/cjwNfLBHuO
– CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) June 23, 2021
Be prepared to see more of these mini quarrels and frequent substance checks. Managers have the right to have opposing pitchers checked, so they will likely take advantage of that as baseball implements this major rule change on the fly.
While the Scherzer-Girardi feud is fun, it’s certainly not a feather in the MLB cap. If anything, it does not bode well that the league’s hasty protocol changes could lead to more conflicts, slowdowns and controversy as the referees figure out how to handle them properly.