A little like TSA, a little awkward. Texas Rangers get taste of MLB substance checks

·2 min read

Perhaps the four-man umpire crew Monday at Globe Life Field was secretly on the pregame Zoom call with manager Chris Woodward, who said that, indeed, his Texas Rangers pitchers have been using foreign substances.

At least four of the five Rangers pitchers Monday night in an 8-3 victory over the Oakland A’s were examined by umpires for sticky stuff.

It wasn’t just a Rangers thing, as A’s pitchers were given a once over, too. Nothing nefarious was found.

If anything, pitchers and umpires were given a sample of what things might look liking going forward after MLB’s ban on foreign substances went into effect Monday.

“I think about as I thought it would,” Rangers right-hander Kyle Gibson said. “They didn’t ask to touch my hands or swab my hands like TSA.”

Airport security checks appear to be only mildly more invasive. Gibson, who improved to 5-0 after allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings, said that umpires checked his glove, his hat and asked him to flip over his belt.

Gibson suspects those are the areas MLB identified as prime hiding places for foreign substances.

The checks took place as pitchers were walking off the mound following an inning, in no way delaying the pace of play.

“I think it’s a little awkward,” Woodward said. “I think everybody’s kind of making light of it. As soon as somebody’s ejected from the game, I think the league will start taking it a little more serious as far as players and the umpires go.”

The Rangers scored five times in the first inning, including a three on the first career home run by Andy Ibanez. He was called up from Triple A Round Rock before game.

Jose Trevino hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to make it 8-2.