St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt was sent off from Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox and pitcher Giovanny Gallegos was ordered to change his hat after an incident.
Referee Joe West ordered Gallegos, who replaced Genesis Cabrera, to change his hat in the middle of a set after spotting sunscreen on the bill. Shildt believed his player had been unfairly singled out and objected to West’s actions.
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Shildt opened up about the incident after the game.
“It’s baseball’s dirty little secret, and now is the wrong time and the wrong arena to expose it,” he said. “Here’s the deal. First of all, Gio wears the same hat all year round. Hats accumulate dirt. Hats accumulate substances. … Has Gio had sunscreen at some point in his career to make sure he doesn’t get some kind of melanoma? Perhaps. Is he using rosin to help? Perhaps. Are these things that baseball really wants to crack down on? No. “
West ordered the cap changed after second baseman Dan Bellino noticed the substance on the bill. West said Gallegos told him it was sunscreen.
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Explaining the decision, West made him change his hat before throwing a pitch because “we don’t want anybody to be accused of cheating or anything like that.” The hat was sent to the commissioner’s office.
“The point of all of this is that we are trying to protect his pitcher, and [Shildt] was kicked out, ”West said.
Shildt questioned the application of the law.
“Let’s go check out the guys that sit there that tuck into their gloves every day with dirty stuff coming out, not a guy before he even walks on the mound with a stain on his hat,” he says.
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The Cardinals ended up winning the game, 4-0.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.