How an MLB relief pitcher found himself in the middle of the latest White House mask drama

·2 min read

In a very 2020 scene that played Wednesday at White House, a relief pitcher who played for the Tampa Bay Rays last season found himself in the middle of yet another spat about people not following rules regarding wearing masks.

Sean Gilmartin is a free agent left-hander who last pitched for the Rays, and a former first-round draft pick. He is also the husband of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. During Wednesday’s press briefing, Gilmartin stood in the back of the room, not wearing a mask.

According to a White House pool report, Gilmartin was confronted by New York Times photographer Doug Mills who “politely pointed out” — per the pool report — that there’s a rule that masks need to worn at all times in the press areas.

A White House staffer with Gilmartin responded “incredulously” — again, according to the pool reporter — with “Kayleigh’s husband?” Gilmartin and the staff then left the briefing room together, while Mills repeated the rules and said it doesn’t matter who the person is.

Gilmartin, you’d figure would be well aware of PPE and mask policies after the MLB season relied heavily on both. However, he didn’t play much for the Rays this year, pitching in just two games with an 8.31 ERA. He wasn’t on Tampa Bay’s postseason roster in its run to the World Series.

Baseball Twitter reacts to the Sean Gilmartin dustup

As you might expect, the whole incident brought out plenty of reactions on social media. In the baseball corner of Twitter, Gilmartin turned into a punching bag.

He spent three not-so-great seasons with the Mets, and their fan base hasn’t forgotten his name.

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