Cardinals' Shildt Slams MLB for Taking Giovanny Gallegos' Hat over Illegal SubstanceMay 26, 2021
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt believes that tons of baseball players are using illegal substances, so his pitcher shouldn't be called out for it.
"This is baseball's dirty little secret, and it's the wrong time in the wrong arena to expose it," Shildt said after his team's 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
As Ryan Fagan of Sporting News noted, umpire Joe West confiscated relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos' hat after inspecting it for substances and then ejected Shildt for arguing about it during the game:
"Gio wears the same hat all year," Shildt continued. "Are these things that baseball really wants to crack down on? No, it's not. I know that firsthand from the commissioner's office. … There are people not even trying to hide and flipping the bird to the league for using concocted substances. It felt like a setup, to be honest with you."
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Mike Shildt sounds off on Giovanny Gallegos' hat being confiscated: "You want to police some sunscreen and rosin? Go ahead. Get every single person in this league. ... Why don't you start with the guys that are cheating with some stuff that's really impacting the game?" pic.twitter.com/02RetNKwQZ
West commented on the incident after the game and said he was looking to protect Gallegos from ejection or punishment by having him switch his hat:
In March, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the league sent a memo before the season explaining its plan to crack down on substances. The plan was to use compliance officers, lab tests of random samples of baseballs and Statcast spin-rate analysis to compare pitchers' spin rate to their norms.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported in April that MLB was investigating Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer after suspicious substances were found on baseballs from one of his starts.
Umpires collected baseballs from one of Bauer's starts and sent them to the league for more inspection after they reportedly had "visible markings and were sticky."
As for Wednesday's game, the incident didn't impact Gallegos' performance.
He pitched 1.2 shutout innings and struck out three as the Cardinals ended their three-game losing streak.