Multiple suspicious baseballs from Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer’s start Wednesday against the Athletics have been sent to league officials to be inspected for foreign substances, according to The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal.
The balls were flagged because they had visible markings and were sticky. This comes after umpires reportedly removed one of the Bauer balls following the first inning of Wednesday’s sport.
Bauer has a history of openly challenging MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred, like after the league sent a memo in late March to enforce the ban of foreign substances on baseballs. The righthander posted a video to his YouTube channel a day later weighing in on the issue, voicing his discontent.
“It’s only illegal for pitchers to have ‘foreign substance’ on their person, their body or whatever,” Bauer said in the video. “It’s not illegal for a catcher or his chest protector, as you’ve seen. It’s not illegal for a third baseman to have it on his glove or a center fielder to have it on his glove—so far as I know, maybe there’s a rule change or some language—as far as I know the rules of baseball, it is legal for those guys to have stuff on their glove.
“My question is, if I throw a pitch and it gets thrown out and then gets tested and has a foreign substance on it, how do they know it came from me and not from the catcher’s glove or the third baseman’s glove? Or on a foul ball, what if it happened to hit the handle of a bat where a hitter has pine tar or whatever other substance he wants, which is completely legal so long as it doesn’t too far up the bat?”
Bauer declined The Athletic‘s request for comment, but his agent Rachel Luba responded to the article on Twitter, saying Rosenthal was making a “story out of nothing.”
The pitcher later took to Twitter with a response of his own, saying it’s “fun reading desperate and misleading clickbait headlines from national gossip bloggers.”
“To translate fake journalist speak for y’all, “It’s unclear whether” = “I can’t be bothered to look into this cuz it doesn’t fit my narrative.” wonder where the articles about balls from every other pitcher being taken out of play in literally every other game this season are? Also lol to @MLB who already has “sources” talking to gossip bloggers about a supposedly confidential process a week into the season thumbs up y’all keep killin it!”
Bauer, who won the NL Cy Young award last season while pitching for the Reds, signed a record-setting contract with the Dodgers this offseason. He will earn $40 million this year, $45 million next season and then $17 million in 2023, the final year of his deal, though he has opt-outs after each season. So far this year, he is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA and 20 strikeouts across 13 innings in two starts.