According to the Associated Press, Major League Baseball has cleared the St. Louis Cardinals — and specifically catcher Yadier Molina — of any illegal tricks in wake of the pitch that strangely stuck to Molina’s chest protector during Thursday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.
Major League Baseball has looked into that bizarre ball that stuck to the chest protector of St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and determined there wasn’t any rules violation.
Molina said he had no idea what happened when a pitch bounced into his protector and clung to it Thursday against the Cubs. He later was asked if he put something sticky there and the Gold Glove star dismissed it as a “dumb question.”
The league was reviewing MLB Rule 3.01, which prohibits players from intentionally discoloring or damaging balls with foreign substances. Had the umpires determined Molina guilty during the game, he would have been immediately ejected. Had the league’s investigation led to a guilty verdict, Molina would have been suspended 10 games.
The incident occurred on a curveball from left-hander Brett Cecil that bounced in the dirt. The Cubs got a baserunner out of it despite their batter striking out. That’s because Molina was unable to locate the baseball, never once thinking that it might actually be stuck to him.
The Cubs would go on to score four runs in the inning and ultimately won the game 6-4. If you wanted to, you could argue the Cardinals were punished in that regard.
Cecil was also questioned by reporters and offered a plausible denial that he applied a sticky substance to the baseball.
“I really don’t have any explanation for it. I don’t use any foreign substance to put on there,” Cecil said Friday of the play, which allowed the Chicago Cubs’ leadoff hitter to reach base and preceded a game-winning rally. “You guys saw Yadi spinning around and the ball didn’t even come off.
“I think if I was throwing with something that sticky, I’d be throwing 45-foot dirtballs the whole game and that’s not the case,” Cecil added. “I have no idea. I talked to Yadi. He has no idea. I can’t explain it.”
We’ll probably never know the details of what actually happened here. As long as the league is satisfied with the explanation, then it appears the Cardinals managed to escape a potentially sticky situation.
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