Seattle Mariners’ Héctor Santiago becomes the 1st pitcher ejected under new MLB policy after umpires find ‘a sticky substance’ on his glove

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Umpires stopped Seattle Mariners pitcher Héctor Santiago after he was pulled in the fifth inning Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.

The scene has become routine for all pitchers since Major League Baseball started inspecting for foreign substances.

Most have been brief interactions before the player returns to the dugout. This time, though, the umpires kept Santiago’s glove and ejected the left-hander during the completion of Saturday’s suspended game at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He was ejected for when his glove was inspected, for having a foreign substance that was sticky on the inside palm of his glove,” crew chief Tom Hallion told a pool reporter.

Hallion did not work the first game but served as the spokesman afterward.

“What we do is we go around the whole glove, feeling for anything that would be sticky or something,” he said. “Yes, it was very noticeable, and then the rest of the crew inspected to make sure we were all in agreement. All four agreed that it was a sticky substance, and that’s why he was ejected.”

In a June 15 release, MLB said: “Any pitcher who possesses or applies foreign substances in violation of the Playing Rules will be ejected from the game and will be automatically suspended in accordance with the rules and past precedent. Suspensions under Rule 3.01 are 10 games.”

Santiago is believed to be the first pitcher to be ejected since the inspections began.

He told Seattle reporters: “My mindset was just use rosin and attack the zone.”

“I know that I didn’t use anything today,” he said. “What he told me was you can’t use rosin on your glove hand. When I use rosin, I dab on both sides to dry, that way I don’t have any sweat coming down the hands. The umpire said you couldn’t use it on your glove hand.

“Rosin is part of what we were given. Using rosin, that’s all I had, and let’s just go from there.”

Mariners manager Scott Servais said: “(Santiago) had rosin all over himself. (Umpire) Phil (Cuzzi) said he thought he had some sticky stuff in his glove. When you put rosin on sweat, it gets sticky.

“Our guys are doing the right thing. They’re following the rule. The umpires are trying to do the best they can in a tough situation. He thought he felt something sticky. Rosin does get sticky when you put it on sweat. So we’ll wait and see what happens.”

The glove will be sent to the MLB office in New York for further evaluation.

“It’s just sweat and rosin,” Santiago said. “They’re going to inspect it, they’re going to do all this science stuff behind it. It’s going to be sweat and rosin. We’ll be all right.”

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