The Seattle Mariners will be without relief pitcher Hector Santiago for 10 games, as the native of Newark, NJ was suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s foreign substance rules policy. According to Victoria Albert of CBS News, the violation occurred on Sunday, during the fifth inning of the Mariners’ 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, IL.
During the game, the umpires found a foreign substance inside Santiago’s glove. He was automatically ejected, and was given the 10-game suspension on Tuesday.
In the game against the White Sox, Santiago had pitched two and a third innings, and given up one earned run, three hits, and two walks. He also had a team-high four strikeouts. Lance Lynn and Dallas Keuchel had four strikeouts each for the White Sox.
One must realize that Major League Baseball is not developing a new rule. They are just enforcing rules that are already in place. According to Jacob Camenker of The Sporting News, the rules have been ignored in recent seasons. Thy state “no player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sandpaper, emery paper, or other foreign substance,” and pitchers cannot “deface the ball in any manner”, and cannot “apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.”
Where the criticism with the rule lies is that it is being enforced mid-season. Pitchers argue they were given less of an opportunity to adjust. They are partially right here. The executives of Major League Baseball need to take some responsibility for having a rule in place and not enforcing it from the very start. There is a common saying that “rules are meant to be broken,” but pitchers should have been careful as well and be extra-prepared for when Major League Baseball was ready to implement the rules.