A shiny ear caused controversy at a Major League Baseball game on Sunday. Mets manager Buck Showalter ordered San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove’s ear checked because it looked shiny, CBS Sports reports.
When the referees examined Musgrove’s ear, they cleared him of any wrongdoing. Still, Mets fans found the ear suspiciously sweaty and he theorized that a foreign substance was in his ear.
Earlier this year, MLB updated its foreign substance guidelines, which will require umpires to inspect pitchers’ gloves, hats and belts for sticky substances that could be transferred to the ball as a means of cheating. They will also examine their fingers and hands at random points throughout the game.
“Any pitcher who has or applies a foreign substance shall be subject to an immediate ejection from the game and shall be automatically ejected in accordance with the rules. If a player other than the pitcher is found to have applied a foreign substance to the ball, both the position player and the pitcher shall be ejected ,” says MLB.
MLB reporter AJ Cassavell took to Twitter to defend Musgrove, saying he’s “generally a sweaty guy when he plays.”
“Umps checked him. Specifically, they checked the sweat in his ear. They’re satisfied with what they saw, obviously. No sticky stuff. Game on.” He wrote.
The Mets’ season ended with a 6-0 victory over the Padres in the wild-card game. Musgrove allowed just one hit and one walk in seven innings, according to CBS Sports.
Mets announcer Gary Cohen said Showalter is “absolutely within his rights to ask the umpires to test a pitcher for foreign substances,” but “given the circumstances, 4-0, sixth inning, season on the line, it smacked of desperation and it was pretty embarrassing.” The live commentary was met with boos from Mets fans in the ballpark.
Musgrove called the Mets’ attempt to throw him out of the game “desperate,” CBS Sports social media director Danny Vietti said. References.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Andrew McCutchen said he guarantees Musgrove has Red Hot in his ears.
“Pitchers use it as a mechanism to stay locked in during games. It burns like crazy and IDK why some people think it helps them, but it’s not ‘sticky’ by any means. Buck is smart. He could just be trying to throw him away.” he wrote on Twitter.
However, images of the glowing ear have circulated on social media, with many still skeptical. “They just checked Joe Musgrove and found nothing. I’m shocked. No one’s ear sweats that much.” tweeted Jordan Moorewho covers social media and sports at The Atlantic.