Home News David Cone’s telling rosin experiment after Max Scherzer suspension

David Cone’s telling rosin experiment after Max Scherzer suspension

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In the wake of Max Scherzer’s controversial ejection from Wednesday’s Mets game for having a hand umpires deemed too sticky, former Mets and Yankees pitcher David Cone did an experiment with rosin and alcohol on ESPN to see how sticky his fingers would get.

During the “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast of Mets-Giants, Cone put rosin from an MLB rosin bag — “rock rosin” — on his fingers and said they got sticky just from that.

After his fingers were “a little” discolored from the rosin, Cone used alcohol to wash it off.

Scherzer said he only had sweat and rosin on his hand and used alcohol to wash it off between innings.

Cone then showed how his thumb, index finger, and middle finger on his right hand were sticking together.

“The alcohol sort of activates what’s left of the rosin,” Cone, who pitched for the Mets between 1987-’92 and again in 2003, said.

Finally, Cone went back to the rosin bag once more and grabbed a baseball, showing the ball hanging from his index and middle fingers due to the stickiness.


David Cone’s fingers were sticking together after washing the rosin with alcohol.
ESPN

After reapplying rosin following the alcohol wash, the baseball hung from his fingers due to how sticky they were.
After reapplying rosin following the alcohol wash, the baseball hung from his fingers due to how sticky they were.
ESPN

Scherzer was suspended 10 games and decided not to appeal, citing the fact an MLB official, as opposed to a neutral party, would be overseeing the appeal hearing.

The 38-year-old began his suspension Thursday against the Giants and has six games remaining.

He was ejected before the bottom of the fourth inning on Wednesday after umpires Phil Cuzzi and Dan Bellino believed his hand was even stickier than their initial inspection two innings prior.


Mets pitcher Max Scherzer is ejected by umpire Phil Cuzzi on April 19, 2023.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer is ejected by umpire Phil Cuzzi on April 19, 2023.
AP

Mets pitcher Max Scherzer reacts after being ejected on April 19, 2023.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer reacts after being ejected on April 19, 2023.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“As far as the level of stickiness, this was the stickiest it has been since I’ve been inspecting hands, which goes back three seasons,” Bellino said after the game. “Compared to the first inning, the level of stickiness, it was so sticky that when we touched his hand, our fingers were sticking to his hand, and whatever was on there remained on our fingers afterwards for a couple of innings where you could still feel that the fingers were sticking together.”

Scherzer was flummoxed by the ordeal.

“I knew I was going to get checked in the fourth,” Scherzer said Wednesday. “So I have to be an absolute idiot to try to do anything when I am coming back out for the fourth. I am in front of the MLB official that is underneath [near the dugout]. I wash my hand with alcohol in front of the official. I then apply rosin and I then grabbed sweat. I then go back out there and Phil Cuzzi says my hand is too sticky.”

The only three pitchers to be ejected from a game due to sticky stuff — Scherzer, Hector Santiago, and Caleb Smith — since MLB began its crackdown in 2021 have all been tossed by Cuzzi.

Scherzer, who has a 3.72 ERA in 19 ⅓ innings this season, is eligible to return for next Monday’s game against the Braves.

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