NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets have turned Max Scherzer’s suspension into a fashion statement.
With the team just back from a West Coast trip, new Mets T-shirts that read “Sweat and Rosin” showed up in the clubhouse Tuesday before New York’s series opener against Washington.
One rested on reliever Tommy Hunter’s chair, right next to Scherzer’s locker.
“I don’t know who brought ‘em in, how they got there,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m not in the T-shirt policing business — but I could be.”
Scherzer was suspended for 10 games by Major League Baseball last week following h is ejection for having a foreign substance on his hand while pitching in a game at Dodger Stadium.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner insisted the substance umpires found too sticky was simply his sweat mixed with rosin — a legal substance for pitchers, if applied properly.
Scherzer initially challenged the suspension but dropped his appeal hours later, saying the Mets urged him to accept it and that was the best move for the team. He also said he wouldn’t win the appeal.
“I thought I was going to get in front of a neutral arbitrator but I wasn’t. It was going to be through MLB. Given that process I wasn’t going to come out on top,” Scherzer said last Thursday in San Francisco. “I’m going to follow what the Mets wanted me to do and that was to accept the suspension and come to a settlement.”
In exchange, his fine was reduced from $10,000 to $5,000, according to a person familiar with negotiations between MLB and the players’ union. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement hadn’t been announced.
Scherzer became the third pitcher suspended since baseball’s crackdown on sticky substances started in June 2021. Seattle’s Héctor Santiago was penalized that June 28 and Arizona’s Caleb Smith that Aug. 24, also 10-game bans.
New York recalled José Butto from Triple-A Syracuse to start in Scherzer’s spot Tuesday night. The team was permitted to do that only because right-hander Edwin Uceta was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to April 23, with a sprained left ankle.
Showalter said he was told Uceta got hurt during a postgame workout Sunday in San Francisco. Uceta threw 51 pitches in relief over three hitless innings Saturday.
“Another challenge, but it kind of worked out, just to be cautious with his ankle,” Showalter said.
Also under the category of wardrobe-related news, the Mets debuted revised patches on their jersey sleeves Tuesday.
In a partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the team is wearing advertisements on its uniforms for the first time this season. But the initial sponsorship patches were white and red — Philadelphia Phillies colors — which drew the ire of Mets fans.
Mets owner Steve Cohen said before the club’s home opener April 7 that he and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital CEO Steven J. Corwin had agreed to make a change going forward that was more appropriate for the Mets.
New patches, in Mets blue and orange, were on the sleeves of the team’s home jerseys Tuesday.
“I’ve got my hands full. Whatever they tell us to put on our uniforms, just do it,” Showalter said.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.
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