David Robertson May 12, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher David Robertson (30) reacts after Washington Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz (20) is retired during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets may have a problem. And right now, it may be with Major League Baseball.

Yes, the Mets are struggling to meet expectations, but are they also being targeted?

On Tuesday, reliever Drew Smith was ejected after undergoing a foreign substance check on the mound as he entered the seventh inning of Game 1 of the Subway Series. Smith has since been fined and suspended for 10 games while maintaining that it was nothing but “sweat and rosin.”

The umpires felt otherwise and while they couldn’t determine what substance was on Smith’s hands, they just said it was sticky.

An incredulous Smith revealed that an MLB official in the tunnel leading to the clubhouse felt his hands and actually laughed, telling him there was nothing there. And yet somehow, the umpires felt his hands were too sticky.

According to Newsday’s Tim Healey, Smith wasn’t the only Mets pitcher this particular umpire crew felt had sticky hands. Veteran closer David Robertson nearly suffered the same fate when he entered the game in the ninth inning. Though, when considering the circumstances, it’s very unlikely that he would’ve attempted anything to push the envelope.

Robertson was told his hands were sticky and rather than being ejected, he was allowed to wash his hands off.

“He felt like my hands were sticky,” Robertson told Newsday. “And I told him that his hands felt sticky. I said I have absolutely nothing on me. I’ve done nothing but grab the rosin bag.

“The fact that I was even told that was shocking.”

Those in the world of Major League Baseball reacted to the news that another Mets pitcher was “found” to have sticky hands. And needless to say, Mets fans were not especially pleased with the league.


Understandably, the Mets players are incredibly frustrated, and so are fans.

These checks for foreign substances have become arbitrary and differentiated between umpiring crews. Why was Smith ejected, but not Robertson? Why was Robertson allowed to wash his hands? There are some of the questions Major League Baseball needs to be asking itself and providing teams with suitable answers rather than continuing to kick the can down the road.

[Newsday; photo from Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.