David Bell Reds manager David Bell was ejected on Friday after questioning why Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt was not ejected with illegal substances on his wrist.

An illegal substance was found on or near the hand of New York Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt during Friday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. The fallout of that led to an ejection, which eventually led to an argument.

But the person getting ejected wasn’t Schmidt or even anyone with the Yankees. It was Cincinnati’s manager, David Bell.

Schmidt was told that if he went into the clubhouse and washed the substance off, he’d be permitted to stay in the game. That’s what he did.

And when Schmidt came back out to warm up before an inning, Bell came out of the dugout to talk about the matter with home plate umpire Brian O’Nora, presumably asking, if there was something illegal on Schmidt’s hands, why is he not being ejected?

Though Bell was clearly annoyed, the conversation started calmly, at least from outward appearances. O’Nora gestured to his wrist, seemingly signaling that was where the substance was found. Bell grew increasingly frustrated, at one point slapping his own left wrist. At that point, O’Nora ejected the manager.

Baseball fans were just as confused as Bell seemed to be, complaining about the apparent inconsistency of how these matters have been handled.

It’s easy to understand Bell’s frustration.

While confusion around something like the pitch clock is frustrating, it’s also understandable. This is the first MLB season with a pitch clock and there is a natural adjustment period to new rules.

But the “sticky stuff” ban is just under two years old, as it was enacted during the 2021 season. This is something that everyone should have a grasp on, not only knowing the rules but understanding how they’re applied.

Even if Bell’s argument was ultimately incorrect, more work clearly needs to be done to help managers, coaches and players (not to mention fans) understand how rules are enforced.

[Codify, Photo Credit: Bally Sports Cincinnati]

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