(CBS) Almost a week later, Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio is still baffled at the odd, literally sticky situation that occurred in his team’s win at Busch Stadium in St. Louis last Thursday.
With the Cubs trailing 4-2 in the seventh inning, Matt Szczur struck out on an 0-2 pitch from Brett Cecil that bounced, but Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina couldn’t find the ball to throw him out at first — because it was literally stuck to his chest protector, of all places. The situation immediately raised questions because players are prohibited from discoloring or damaging the baseball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery paper or other foreign substance, as the Chicago Tribune reported.
So, how could the ball possibly stick to Molina’s chest protector without the use of an illegal foreign substance? Why didn’t umpires inspect Molina’s chest protector? And why didn’t MLB officials follow up and investigate the matter with more vigor?
Bosio would like to know the answers to all those questions.
“Yadi’s chest protector?” Bosio said in an interview on the Mully and Hanley Show on Wednesday morning. “I wouldn’t even know where to go on that. Here’s a guy wearing a chest protector that has Stickum all over it. All he’s got to do is the take the ball out of the glove, wipe it on the chest protector, throw it back to the pitcher, and the ball is loaded up.”
“It’s more one of those things like, ‘Oh boy. Here we go with the Cardinals thing again.'”
The mishap benefited the Cubs in the context of that single play, as Molina’s confusion regarding the ball’s whereabouts allowed Szczur to reach base on the dropped third strike. Kyle Schwarber followed soon after with a go-ahead homer in Chicago’s 6-4 win.
“We just kind of shook it off, because we know nothing’s going to happen from it, like normal,” Bosio said. “I mean, in one instance, we’re one gentleman sitting in jail for tampering with some stuff. But it was just comical, some of the things we saw in that series and so close together. And really, actually surprised there haven’t been more things that pop up.”
Molina’s sticky situation wasn’t the only ordeal the Cubs were perplexed by in season-opening series in which Chicago took two of three. In the April 2 opener, the Cardinals scored a third-inning run soon after Cubs infielder Javier Baez lost track of what appeared to be a tailor-made double play ball. Baez and the Cubs cited a white advertising panel behind home plate for his inability to get a read on the ball. The panel has since been changed.
“We were surprised they didn’t make a bigger deal about it as well,” Bosio said. “I hadn’t seen anything like that. I think the thing that was weird was also the signage in back — that also wasn’t made a bigger deal about. From my understanding, MLB was the one that controls the advertising, and it just so happened that when we were in the field, the white sign in the background behind the catcher was up. And then when they were there, it was dark. I just want to know how come it wasn’t flip-flopped for us. Why wasn’t it white for them and dark for us?
“Having a white background behind a hitter or a pitcher when you’re trying to pick up the ball, that’s not really thinking it through very well.
“How nobody thought about that? Oh well, things happen. And things can be changed relatively quickly, and I imagine all these things will be.”
Listen to Bosio’s full interview below.