These days, a pitcher has to be aware of any foreign substances that appear on his uniform, even if they’re inadvertent. Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell self-reported a spot of gunk that appeared on his pitcher Sonny Gray’s pants during Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, and the starter came up with a solution that was both effective and undignified.
As Gray was hitting in the bottom of the third, he had gained some kind of smudge on the back of his trousers. Maybe the foreign substance was pine tar from his bat, or some used chaw that wasn’t properly disposed of. In any case, the Reds consulted umpire Lance Barrett after the inning to make sure that Gray could keep his name clean by making his pants dirtier.
As the thumbnail for Rob “Pitching Ninja” Friedman’s video helpfully explains, with a little clip-art laughing emoji as garnish, Gray came out to pitch in the top of the fourth and took a moment to rub his butt on the mound. That ostensibly nullified the sticky properties of the substance on his pants.
Gray avoided any possible ejection and pitched with a slightly larger stain on his butt for the rest of his outing—which actually didn’t last much longer. The Reds starter was chased from the game in the fifth when the Brewers scored four runs, all with two outs. Gray allowed a total of five earned runs, six hits, and four walks over 4.2 innings, as the Reds lost, 8-0. That pants stain really could have helped.