MLB umpire Joe West confiscates hat of Cardinals pitcher Giovanny Gallegos, ejects manager Mike Shildt


Wednesday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago White Sox (STL 4, CHW 0) at Guaranteed Rate Field in a game that was fairly routine. Except for third-base umpire Joe West confiscating Cards reliever Giovanny Gallegos‘ hat in the seventh inning.

West, who on Tuesday set Major League Baseball’s record for most games umpired, apparently noticed a foreign substance on the bill of Gallegos’ hat and made him change hats. West confiscated the cap under MLB rule 6.02(c)(7), which says pitchers may not have “on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.” Shortly thereafter, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt argued the ruling and was ejected.

Via Jeff Jones of Belville News, West said that second base second base umpire Dan Bellino spotted a substance on Gallegos’ hat and initiated the removal process. When West asked Gallegos to remove the hat, Gallegos said the substance was sunscreen.

West said that he asked Gallegos to remove the hat before pitching with it on, in order to keep him in the game. He also explained that Shildt was ejected for yelling against West’s decision and using profanity. Now, Gallegos’ hat is in the custody of a MLB compliance officer and it will be sent to the league office in New York for further examination. 

Gallegos finished the seventh, striking out two batters to end the two men on, one out threat. Then he pitched a perfect eighth inning. In total, the right-hander needed just 16 pitches (and two hats) for the five outs.

Following the game, Shildt spoke with reporters and expressed his anger about Gallegos getting called out when, he says, illegal substances are rampant throughout the game.

“This is baseball’s dirty little secret, and this is the wrong time and the wrong arena to expose it,” Shildt said. “… You want to police some sunscreen and rosin? Go ahead. Get every single person in this league. … Why don’t you start with the guys that are cheating with some stuff that’s really impacting the game?”

Here’s Shildt’s full press conference:

With the Cards’ win on Wednesday, they stopped a five-game road losing streak. The club also denied White Sox manager Tony La Russa a sweep in his first series managing against his former team. La Russa, a Hall of Famer, guided the Cardinals to two World Series championships in 2006 and 2011.





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