MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says enforcement of sticky substance rule has gone ‘very well’

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says that in the first few days of umpires checking pitchers for illegal substances that the enforcement of the new rule has gone "very well."

Players are subject to ejections and suspensions if they are caught using anything to aid in their pitching, especially when it comes to gripping the baseball. 

"My view is the first two days have gone very well," Manfred told The Athletic. "We've had no ejections [for foreign substances], players in general have been extremely cooperative, the inspections have taken place quickly and between innings. Frankly, the data suggests that we are making progress with respect to the issues [in spin rate] that caused us to undertake the effort in the first place."

During Tuesday's game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals, Phillies manager Joe Girardi asked umpires to check Nationals starter Max Scherzer for sticky substances after he had already been looked at twice before.

Rob Manfred speaks to the media at the owners meeting in 2019. (Photo: The Associated Press)

After the third time of being checked, Scherzer was fed up, tossing his glove and hat to the ground.

"I understand the incident in Philadelphia was less than ideal, but that was one incident," Manfred said. "And we expect that we will continue, as the vast majority of cases so far, without that kind of incident."

When asked about if there are changes coming in terms of the future viability of the rule, Manfred was not sure.

"I don't like to put my feet in the sand. We are two days in," Manfred said. "I just don't have enough information to tell you that it's ironclad or that it's going to change."

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