Thursday night in Georgia, the bases were juiced with Braves in the bottom of the 7th and the “Atlanta Nine” up 2-1, Brewer reliever Will Smith came into pitch and did something that I don’t think any other Brewer pitcher has ever done … he was ejected from the game for having a foreign substance on his non-pitching arm…which we all know is a “no-no.”
Atlanta Manager Freddie Gonzalez saw the glisten on Smith’s right arm and immediately summoned home plate umpire Jim Joyce to the mound, number #13 was soon headed for the showers. Smith was upset, but not because he was caught, but ,because he was mad at himself for forgetting that the “substance” was on his arm from his bullpen warm-up.
I’ll admit at first, and for sometime Friday I had Smith pegged as a “cheat” who needed to “man up,” but, after a lot of thought, listening to arguments by professionals and non- professionals I’ve had a change of heart. I believe Smith totally forgot that he had the substance on his arm, I know there have been times when I forgot the dog was outside, or forgot the stove was on when I left for work… stuff that happens when a person is pre-occupied, and in the moment. Smith was playing in front of his home town, with family in attendance, and probably just forgot… it happens, and if it’s as innocent as we are led to believe he won’t let it happen again, because an eight game suspension is pretty steep for one pitch.
As for Atlanta Manager Freddie Gonzalez, anyone who thinks he shouldn’t have called out Smith is drinking too much Brewer Kool-Aid…if that was Lance Lynn of the Cardinals, or Gerrit Cole of the Pirates, or any pitcher from any other team, Brewer fans would be “up in arms” if Brewer Manager Craig Counsell didn’t use the rule book to his advantage and do the same thing.
If you don’t agree then WHY KEEP SCORE?!
Rules are rules you have to use them to your advantage when you can… even if it’s an honest mistake.