In a matter of 10 days, the New York Mets lost their division lead to the Atlanta Braves and their wild card playoff series against the San Diego Padres.
But on Sunday night, they may have lost a little dignity too.
Trailing the Padres 4-0 in the final game of the best-of-three series, the Mets apparently lamented that San Diego pitcher Joe Musgrove was shutting them down with the help of a strange substance to cure the baseball
So Mets manager Buck Showalter had the umps check him out, including his ears, which were glistening with what the team and its fans seemed to think was more than sweat.
The umps stopped the game and gathered around the mound. An ump looked at Musgrove’s hat, glove…and ears.
You can see Musgrove playing with joy and the reactions of his teammates, including one shaking his head in disbelief:
The umps found nothing and the game continued.
After the game, Showalter was unapologetic, saying the team is “aware” of more information, that he “loves” Musgrove as a pitcher and that he feels “a little bad about it.” according to the LA Times.
“I’m charged with doing what’s best for the New York Mets,” he said. “If it makes me look at how it makes me look or whatever, I’ll do it every time and we’ll live with the consequences.”
One of the most immediate consequences was this reaction from Musgrove after leaving the entrance:
“I mean, I get it, man,” Musgrove said after the game. “They are at the last stage, they are desperate. They are doing everything they can to get me out of the game at that point. It is what it is.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Musgrove was part of a cheating club: He was on the infamous 2017 Astros, who used an elaborate — and illegal — sign-stealing scheme as they eventually won a World Series that nor is Musgrove himself. Proud of.
“I still don’t feel great about wearing that ring or telling people that I was a World Series champion on that team,” he admitted to the Associated Press last week. “I want one that feels like a win and a real championship. So that’s the goal.”
Ultimately, he pitched seven innings, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out five as the Padres won 6-0 to advance to the next round.
But on Twitter, all the talk was about Musgrove’s ear check: