New York Yankees pitcher Zach Britton said on Wednesday that the constant inspections of the grip-improving substances and the bouts that followed were not a good idea for baseball going forward.
Britton, a representative for the MLB players’ union, told reporters that before the team played against the Kansas City Royals, the focus should have been on Wander Franco’s electric debut for the Rays. Tampa Bay instead of head butting “sticky stuff”.
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“I just think the optics are so bad for baseball,” Britton said via The New York Post. “We’re talking about this, we’re not talking about Wander Franco’s debut, we’re not talking about the way Gerrit [Cole] pitched and how well Max Scherzer pitched, and all that other stuff around the game. We’re talking about guys getting checked out on the pitch, guys dropping their pants on the pitch, guys throwing their belts down. I just think the optics are absolutely embarrassing for our game. ”
Britton said players and fans alike need to hear from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on the issues.
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“I would love to hear Manfred answer questions and not just the players,” he said. “If you’re in charge of a sport, I think part of the job description is answering questions and talking to the media every now and then. You see it in other sports. It’s frustrating for players we haven’t heard from. him again. “
Manfred spoke to The Athletic around the same time Britton spoke to the media.
“I think the first two days went really well,” Manfred told The Athletic. “We had no expulsions, the players in general were extremely cooperative, the inspections were carried out quickly and between sets. “
Britton reiterated that the optics were bad and getting checked out live on TV didn’t help either.
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“If I’m a young boy at the game and I ask my dad, ‘Well, what’s going on? Why are they checked? What is he going to say? added. “I mean, is that what we want the game to be like we’re assuming you’re cheating?” I just think it’s a bad look. “
Dan Canova of Fox News and the AP contributed to this report.