For the first two innings of Friday’s 6-4 Nationals win, New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana sported a black glove with a bright gold Rawlings logo. When he emerged from the dugout for the third inning, however, the logo was covered with dark-colored tape. Was the gold too distracting to the Nationals?
It was to Manager Davey Johnson, if not the hitters. Here’s what happened:
“The hitters didn’t complain,” Johnson said. “... I was worried that when we got runners on base, that the reflection off that shiny gold thing on there could shine their eyes. Because it was hitting me in mine. When the lights would hit that thing when he would turn his glove, it would reflect.”
Johnson asked an umpire to check out the glove because he didn’t think it conformed to the rules. According to MLB regulations, “no pitcher shall attach to his glove any foreign material of a color different from the glove.” The umpire-in-chief is allowed to determine if a glove doesn’t meet this and other criteria.
“My players haven’t complained yet,” Johnson said he told an umpire. “I’m complaining. He said, ‘I’ll tell ’em it’s from the players.’ It’s just little things like that that can bother me.”
He joked later: “I’m guessing the glove manufacturer liked it. I didn’t.”