clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Brewers, Braves react to Will Smith's ejection for illegal substance

New, comments

Brewers and Braves players and managers offered their thoughts to reporters on Will Smith's ejection following the game.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In the seventh inning of Thursday's opener against the Braves, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher was ejected for having a substance on his arm that would allow him to have a better grip on the ball, something that is expressly forbade by MLB.

According to Smith, the substance was a combination of sun screen and rosin, which he had put on his arm while warming up in the bullpen but forgot to remove before the game.

Smith was visibly angry after being ejected, but not at umpire crew chief Jim Joyce. Rather, he was upset that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez pointed out the substance. For the most part, it's accepted in baseball that most pitchers use foreign substances. Issues come, however, when it's as evident they are using it as Smith was. That's Gonzalez's argument, anyway.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman pointed out just how little most players care about pitchers using substances.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell seems frustrated that Gonzalez would point out Smith's error when his own team likely does the same thing.

However, Counsell won't go so far as to say the Brewers will do anything to retaliate, instead keeping his answer to that question very reserved. Of course, if he were planning anything, it would be very stupid of him to actually announce it.

In the end, this whole thing shows just how stupid baseball rules -- written and unwritten -- can be. Yes, having any substance like sunscreen or pine tar is not allowed. But pitchers want to use it, and batters want pitchers to use it. And nobody cares if they do, unless they telegraph that they are? The issue with using isn't using themselves, but being seen? It all seems very dumb to me. And to a lot of other people, as well, as there have been rumblings that the rule Smith was busted for is outdated and unwelcome.

Still, Smith did break a rule and for that the likely punishment will be an automatic 10-game suspension that comes with the foreign substances rule. Apparently next time, he just shouldn't leave it on his forearm.