MLB Umpire Caresses Guardians Reliever’s Hair

It’s often said that baseball always finds ways to surprise you. That nearly every game, there’s something that hasn’t been seen before.

Friday’s Cleveland Guardians-Minnesota Twins game in Minneapolis had one of the more unusual unprecedented incidents in recent memory.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Guardians brought in reliever James Karinchak with a 7-5 lead. Cleveland had hoped to quickly send the game to the 9th inning to allow closer Emmanuel Clase to do his thing.

That’s when things got weird.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli apparently thought he saw something with Karinchak, asking the umpires for a check for foreign substances.

Home plate umpire Ted Barrett went to the mound, and well, gave Karinchak what can only be described as a head massage:

Karinchak, to his credit, just accepted what must have been an incredibly uncomfortable experience for him.

The umpires didn’t find anything during their lengthy, invasive search, and the inning continued.

Funnily enough, Karinchak gave up a home run to Carlos Correa just two batters later, followed by a double to Jose Miranda.

If he was cheating, he apparently didn’t do a great job of it.

Unsurprisingly, Cleveland did not take kindly to the accusation, with pitcher Cal Quantrill saying he thinks there should be “a punishment for being wrong.”

He certainly has a point, if you’re asking for additional checks beyond what the umpires already do, there should be a bit more certainty to it than just guessing.

The Guardians did hold on to win the game 7-6, yet another example of a season that’s been a relative success in the standings, and a complete disaster in every other way:

The two teams continue their important head-to-head series Saturday and Sunday as they battle for first place in the AL Central.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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