Is it illegal for a pitcher to have a scouting report in his pocket while pitching?
According to MLB umpire Joe West the answer is no. On Saturday, West confiscated a card from Phillies pitcher Austin Davis after he pulled the card from his pocket before pitching to Cubs’ third baseman Kris Bryant.
“I saw him take it out and I went, ‘What the heck is that?'” West said.
West said the card is considered a “foreign substance,” which constitutes a violation of Rule 6.02(c)(7) which states: “… the pitcher shall not have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.”
“I told him we don’t allow him to carry anything on their glove, person or clothing except in some cases where there’s a rain situation we allow them to put a rosin bag in their pocket. Other than that they can’t have anything on their person. I didn’t want to throw him out. I know it’s foreign but he’s not trying to cheat. Maybe he’s trying to get an advantage because he’s reading the scouting report, but it wasn’t pine tar, it wasn’t an emery board, it wasn’t whatever. In the long run, maybe they’ll let him (have the card). Right now, my hands are tied until they say yes or now. Right now, until the office says it’s OK to carry this, he can’t do it.”
Should the scouting report be considered a “foreign substance,” therefore illegal? How many times in recent seasons have we witnessed infielders and outfielders refer to cards when positioning themselves for batters? Is that considered illegal too? If so, why aren’t umpires taking action?
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YOU MAKE THE CALL: Should a pitcher carrying a scouting report in his pocket be considered a “foreign substance,” therefore illegal? Read the story and You Make the Call: https://t.co/c2QxuL8lGx pic.twitter.com/wBKoDVRtTu
— John Strubel (@johnstrubel) September 2, 2018
— JayZ (@JayZammie) September 4, 2018
Joe West is just flat out wrong. In the off-season, you'll see that made clear. There's no rational reason to disallow it.
— Charlie Whisky (@BrightApollo) September 4, 2018