The New York Yankees were the central focus of the “sticky stuff” discussion when Gerrit Cole found himself in the crosshairs thanks to a silly text message as well as his inability to answer a question in a straightforward manner regarding spider tack recently.
But that’s no more! MLB’s new rules that ban pitchers from using any type of foreign substances have taken the sport by storm and now we’re seeing umpires check pitchers in between innings … multiple times … and sometimes during innings in between batters!
The entire circus was on display during Tuesday night’s game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. Nats ace Max Scherzer was checked three (3!) times in this one and it was all thanks to former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi.
Scherzer was compliant after the first check, then got frustrated after the second one … and then almost fought Girardi after the third because the Phillies manager asked the umpires to check the three-time Cy Young winner the latter two times.
Scherzer was inspected three times in the game’s first four innings. After the bottom of the fourth, he stormed off the mound, staring Girardi’s way into the Phillies’ dugout.
That’s when all hell (nearly) broke loose and Girardi was ejected for challenging Scherzer to a little dance on the field.
Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi tried to fight Max Scherzer.
Bush league of Girardi to keep asking the umps to pat down Scherzer? Perhaps. Kind of funny? Also … perhaps. But trying to fight the veteran pitcher? Absolutely epic. What dugout full of players wouldn’t want to see their manager do that?
Yankees fans may not miss Girardi’s binder of nonsense or his bullpen management, but they sure do miss his candor and passion, which are two characteristics Aaron Boone seems to lack, especially these last few seasons.
Girardi kept a close eye on Scherzer for those first four innings and claimed the pitcher was suspiciously wiping his head excessively, which is something he’s never seen him do. That prompted Girardi to bring the umps into this, which, yes, while annoying, was only a measure to help protect his team from somebody breaking the rules.
But this saga isn’t ending anytime soon. The Phillies and Nationals will face off plenty more times in 2021 and Washington’s general manager Mike Rizzo decided to blast Girardi after the game.
Even though Aaron Boone leads the American League with three ejections, they don’t seem to carry the fire many fans are expecting. Perhaps the 2019 “Savages in the Box” rant set the bar too high.
Girardi’s been ejected twice in 2021 and both times it’s been the best possible form of baseball theatre. It’d be nice to have that back in our lives once in a while, right Yankees fans?