Max Scherzer starts angrily undressing, gets opposing manager ejected over new substance check rule

Former Tigers star does not enjoy MLB’s latest rule

Images from Max Scherzer's first start under MLB's new substance check rules.
Images from Max Scherzer's first start under MLB's new substance check rules. (NBC Sports Philadelphia)

PHILADELPHIA – Former Detroit Tigers star Max Scherzer’s first taste of MLB’s new substance checking rule led to him angrily starting to undress himself on the pitcher’s mound and getting the opposing manager ejected for essentially trying to fight him.

First check

Let’s start at the top: Scherzer was not feeling this new rule from the very first moment.

MLB’s new rule is that pitchers will be checked for foreign substances during games, and starting pitchers specifically are checked multiple times. Umpires look at the pitchers’ hats, gloves and belts.

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Scherzer has been in the league for 14 years. He is nearly 37 years old and doesn’t have time for these ridiculous newfangled rules.

Here’s how excited he was for his first official substance check:

This had the energy of an elementary student waiting for his mom to stop fixing his hair before the first day of school. Scherzer is like, “Can we get this over with?” His body language is perfect. The disgust is palpable. From head to toe, his body is a 6-foot-3 eye roll.

Joe Girardi asks for mid-inning check

The situation escalated in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi apparently asked the umpires to check Scherzer again in the middle of the fourth inning.

Scherzer had one out and a runner on first base when the umpires sauntered out and reluctantly broke the news. Scherzer looked at the Phillies dugout, laughed, threw his hat and glove on the ground and then started unbuckling his entire belt.

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The umpires stopped him before he could get any further, and Scherzer threw his hands up, like, “Just check me head to toe, why don’tcha?”

Anyway, they must not have found anything, but Nationals manager Davey Martinez and Scherzer were both yelling and gesturing toward the Phillies dugout, and Girardi ran out at one point and then just stood at the railing.

It was a weak move by Girardi, and MLB definitely should not allow managers to request additional checks whenever they want since umpires are already doing it multiple times.

Girardi ejection

When Scherzer got through the fifth inning, he stared down the Phillies dugout again, prompting Girardi to come out and tell Scherzer to come over and say it to his face (or something of that sort).

Girardi was ejected, and Scherzer was seen holding his hat and glove out in the dugout, as if to say, “Do you want to check them again?”

In the video below, the Phillies announcers defend Girardi, but pretty much everyone else in the world agrees he came away looking pretty bush league.

Scherzer won the game, by the way. If there’s one thing everyone in baseball should know, it’s not to make Mad Max angry when he’s pitching against your team.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.