Umpire Bacchus Discusses Blanco’s Ejection for Using Sticky Substance

Astros face setback with pitcher's recent suspension controversy.

by Abdullah Magsi
Umpire Bacchus Discusses Blanco’s Ejection for Using Sticky Substance
© Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Ronel Blanco, a pitcher for the Houston Astros, has recently become a focal point in Major League Baseball following his ejection during a game against the Oakland Athletics. This incident occurred just over a month after Blanco celebrated pitching a 'no-hitter,' raising his profile significantly in the league.

During the fourth inning of the game, umpires approached Blanco for a routine inspection, which soon escalated. They discovered a sticky substance in his glove, leading to his immediate ejection from the match. The substance, according to first base umpire Erich Bacchus, was notably tacky.

"I felt something inside the glove. It was the stickiest stuff I’ve encountered on a glove since we’ve started routine checks a few years ago," Bacchus recounted. The inspection did not end with Bacchus. The field umpires congregated to deliberate the situation further, confirming the presence of the foreign substance.

Astros manager Joe Espada also examined Blanco's glove and noted the presence of a white powder, which he described as resembling rosin—a substance pitchers are prohibited from using on their non-pitching hand. "It appeared to be rosin to me.

The mixture of moisture and sweat made it sticky, but it looked like rosin," Espada explained.

Umpires Confirm Ejection

Despite Blanco's requests for the umpires to check his hands as well, their findings in the glove were sufficient for third base umpire Laz Diaz to officially eject him from the game.

"Everyone checked the glove to ensure consistency in what we found, and unfortunately, we had to eject him because he had a foreign substance," Diaz stated. The repercussion for Blanco is a 10-game suspension, leaving the Astros to face the remainder of the season without one of their top pitchers.

This comes at a time when the team is already struggling, having lost the majority of their recent games and currently standing eight games below the .500 mark. This setback has intensified the challenges faced by the Astros, who are trying to navigate through what is shaping up to be one of their most difficult seasons in recent history.

As the team grapples with the fallout from this incident, the focus remains on how they will adapt and overcome the absence of Blanco on the mound.