Did Max Scherzer cheat? Nationals star offered to take off pants after umpire checks him for tampering

A Twitter user said, 'Joe Girardi is a clown for trying to say that Max Scherzer is cheating while he was PERFECTLY okay with Michael Pineda cheating'


                            Did Max Scherzer cheat? Nationals star offered to take off pants after umpire checks him for tampering
Pitcher Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals is searched for foreign substances by umpires Tim Timmons #95 and Alfonso Marquez #72 during the fourth inning of a game (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball's latest foreign substance policy stirred up controversy on Tuesday, June 22, when Phillies manager Joe Girardi challenged Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer to get checked for illegal substances. Girardi was later ejected from the game.

Scherzer was inspected by umpires thrice at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, the third time at the behest of Phillies manager Joe Girardi. Scherzer, who was visibly disgruntled by both checks, engaged in a staredown with Girardi after the fourth inning. The Philly skipper responded by hopping out of the dugout and inviting Scherzer to engage him directly. That earned Girardi an ejection. Scherzer waved goodbye to Girardi, holding his hat and glove in the air to taunt him. Major league umpires began a crackdown on Monday by regularly examining pitchers for tacky substances that can give them a better grip on the baseball. Managers also can request a check, although umps can deny it if they believe it’s not in good faith.

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It wasn’t the first snarky display from the Scherzer, who slumped his arms while being given a once-over after the first inning. In the bottom of the fourth, after recording his seventh strikeout of the evening with a 3-1 lead, Scherzer tossed his hat and glove to the ground and offered to take off his pants when Girardi asked for another check. Umpires declined to take Scherzer’s hat or glove. Soon, the video of the incident went viral on the Internet.



 

Baseball America tweeted a video showing Scherzer's reaction and said, "This is incredible. Joe Girardi asked the umpires to check Max Scherzer for sticky stuff again. Scherzer’s reaction:" Jared Carrabis called it absurd and wrote, "This is actually absurd. Max Scherzer just got checked AGAIN in the middle of the inning and is about to pull his pants down to get these people to leave him alone." He further tweeted, "I was joking before, but I think Max Scherzer really is about to kill somebody."



 



 



 

One person tweeted, "Max Scherzer stares down Joe Girardi, Joe comes out of the dugout and challenges him then gets ejected, Max shows off his glove and hat." Jesse Dougherty wrote, "Joe Girardi asked the umpires to check Max Scherzer and he spiked his hat and glove and then started to undo his belt by the mound. Holy hell this is getting nuts." Slamming Girardi, another one wrote, "Joe Girardi is a clown for trying to say that Max Scherzer is cheating while he was PERFECTLY okay with Michael Pineda cheating."



 



 



 

Later Tuesday night, Athletics reliever Sergio Romo pulled down his pants halfway in mockery of the new MLB policy. On Monday, June 22, Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom got checked for the first time under MLB’s new protocols.