The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Max Scherzer explains playing catch in Central Park and his pregame roast beef sandwiches

(Norm Hall / Getty)
Placeholder while article actions load

The day before he pitches, Max Scherzer has a catch. Often, he chooses unusual locations. In Chicago, this became a problem.

“I’ve got to play catch every single day,” Scherzer explained Monday afternoon on “SportsCenter.” “I’ve especially got to play catch the day before I pitch. And so a lot of times when you have an off day, you won’t go to the field. So me, I’ll get the bullpen catcher and we’ll go out somewhere and play catch.

“Well, in Chicago, we’re playing catch,” Scherzer went on. “You’re in downtown Chicago, with all the concrete. So we found this one little grassy knoll in front of an apartment building, and we were playing catch, and a security guard came out and started yelling at us, telling us to get out of here. We were like, ‘We just wanted to play catch.’ So our off-day catch is usually eclectic, at best. He was more concerned about somebody getting hurt or something breaking. I don’t know.”

Scherzer had an off-day before a scheduled start on Monday. He played catch in Central Park. No one told him to leave.

“It was great,” Scherzer said. “It was a nice 10-minute game of  catch. We were good.”

Scherzer also discussed his oft-discussed superstition of eating a roast beef sandwich on the day of his start. ESPN offered him an on-set roast beef sandwich, but he rejected it as not large enough.

“I’m so hungry by the end of the game, so I have to eat a huge thing before a start,” Scherzer explained. “Most of the clubhouses, they’ll have deli meat in the clubhouse. So I just go out and make a huge sandwich and put some cheese on it. We’re looking at probably half-pound, three-quarters of a pound of meat. That’s what gets me going.”