After RHP Domingo German‘s ejection, suspension and fine for using a foreign substance in the Yankees‘ 6-3 win at the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, New York avoided another casualty Friday.
Midway through the fifth inning of the Yankees’ 6-2 win, umpires extensively checked RHP Clarke Schmidt, who briefly left for the dugout but remained in the game entering the sixth.
Reds manager David Bell argued against the crew’s decision to not eject Schmidt and ended up getting tossed from the game himself.
“I’m not going to talk about it,” Bell said. “I think it was probably obvious what happened and I’m just going to leave it at that. We don’t benefit from me talking about this, so I’m not going to talk about it, but it was obvious what happened.”
Home plate umpire Brian O’Nora said he “had no choice to eject” Bell.
“It is our discretion,” O’Nora said. “(Third base umpire) Nestor (Caja) checked (Schmidt). (Caja) noticed something just a little tacky. He called the whole crew down. It wasn’t shiny. It wasn’t dark like pine tar. It was that fuzz from the inside part of (Schmidt’s) glove, I think. As a crew, we told (Schmidt) to go wash if off. He washed it off. Nothing was on his hand. It wasn’t sticky and it wasn’t a foreign substance.”
Aaron Boone shared the same perspective on Schmidt, who started out by throwing five scoreless innings while the Yankees led 1-0.
“They checked his hands, he’s fine and he has a black glove,” Boone said. “So when they checked it, it was black here, which, basically, the black fur of the glove, by the middle innings, with rosin and sweat — just that color got to his wrist, so they just wanted him to wash his wrist.”
Schmidt provided firsthand details.
“Basically, what happened was — when I went out there for the fifth inning, the third base umpire checked me,” Schmidt said. “He checked my hands and said they were completely fine, but then he checked the back of my wrist, where the glove slides on to, and I’m using a black glove, and there’s black fur inside the glove. And throughout the game, sweating, rosin, it kind of built up on the back of my wrist, where the fur sits.
“And so, they raised a question. And so, we went over to the home plate umpire and he checked it and he checked my hands and there was nothing wrong with my hands — they weren’t sticky at all. And so, then he saw the black fur that was on the back of my wrist and said, ‘Go clean it off.’ And so, I went and cleaned it off. But there seemed to be no concern with the stickiness or anything with hands, so that’s basically what happened.”
“I get it — the league is hypersensitive about it right now,” Schmidt added. “You see it across the league, where guys are getting a little bit more extensive on the searches, which is completely — and I have nothing to hide. I’m going between these guys every inning, and they’re checking me every inning. Obviously, you don’t want to get thrown out of a game when something like that happens and especially when we’re playing a man down like that.
“Your heart starts beating a little quicker, because you don’t want to affect the team where they have to pitch (while being) down another pitcher. But other than that, I felt I was OK with, obviously, the result. Thankfully, they let me pitch because there was no concern with the stickiness. But that’s about it.”
German received a 10-game suspension, dinging a Yankees rotation that is down top-end starting LHP Carlos Rodon, who remains on the IL since March 30 with a left forearm strain.
“Obviously, we need to avoid that at all costs and make sure we’re holding each other to account the whole time,” Boone said.