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Mariners left-hander Hector Santiago has been suspended after the league found a foreign substance on his glove, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. So, baseball thought the Houston Astros deserved a slap on the wrist for relaying signs using electronics a few years ago while Hector Santiago misses two starts for trying to grip a baseball.
You can’t make this up.
Seattle left-hander Hector Santiago has been suspended 10 games for having a foreign substance on his glove.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 29, 2021
He will appeal.
Comparing the two incidents is a bit unfair, but the details actually make this much worse. The league is now saying Santiago didn’t get in trouble because of what they supposedly found — he was suspended because home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi deemed the glove “sticky.” That’s all that happened, and baseball isn’t even pretending otherwise.
In theory, this means if an umpire perceives anything as a sticky substance, he gets to be the judge, jury, and executioner. Umpires who have zero training to detect anything other than balls and strikes are now taking on the responsibility of policing illegal substances. They can barely umpire a game properly, and now we suddenly give them more responsibility? It’s laughable.
Per source, the league didn’t need to inspect Santiago’s glove any further. The ejection and discipline are based on the umpires’ report of having detected a foreign substance.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 29, 2021
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers also reports that Santiago had rosin in his glove, which is against the rules, though he reportedly wasn’t aware of that.
Why would placing rosin in your glove be illegal when the product sits just feet behind the mound for unlimited access? And how exactly is Hector Santiago supposed to appeal this suspension? Based on the way punishment was issued, there’s no logical path towards an overturn. It’s impossible to push back on a judgment call from an umpire.
Even more evidence of a lockout
What more do players need to see before they insist on a lockout? Commissioner Rob Manfred decided mid-season that he would empower umpires to be the foreign substance police and take money out the pockets of the players by issuing them suspensions. No way players accept this type of behavior going forward, and you can bet your last dollar there will be some bite back on this.
Just a matter of when.