Cardinals' Shildt Slams MLB for Taking Giovanny Gallegos' Hat over Illegal Substance

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, center, continues to speak his mind as he points to relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos after third base umpire Joe West, left, ejected Shildt during the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

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:

Ryan Fagan @ryanfagan

Joe West confiscates Giovanny Gallegos’ hat and ejects Mike Shildt pic.twitter.com/XF0vnbqeeX

"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."

Bally Sports Midwest @BallySportsMW

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:

Jeff Jones @jmjones

I was the pool reporter who spoke to Joe West about the incident with Giovanny Gallegos’s cap which ended in Mike Shildt’s ejection. Here’s what he had to say: pic.twitter.com/ybryL3CBd1

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.