The 2022 season in MLB was full of unforgettable moments.
However, some of them involved umpires checking pitchers for foreign stuff, and they were hilarious.
We had, of course, umpire Dan Bellino staring into Madison Bumgarner‘s soul.
But perhaps the most ridiculous one involved Ted Barrett and Cleveland Guardians’ pitcher James Karinchak.
“Nomination for the 2022 @PitchingNinja PDA Award [Pitcher/Umpire category]: James Karinchak / Ted Barrett,” Codify Baseball tweeted with a video of the incident.
Nomination for the 2022 @PitchingNinja PDA Award
James Karinchak / Ted Barrett pic.twitter.com/Nqpzrrijwz
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 29, 2022
During a game between the Minnesota Twins and the Guardians, manager Rocco Baldelli asked umpire Ted Barrett to check Karinchak’s hair for sticky stuff because he repeatedly touched it.
Barrett did agree to the quick check, and started to touch Karinchak’s hair in a way that was both funny and ridiculous.
Why Are Foreign Substances On The Ball Helpful?
In 2021, MLB umpires became more alert of hurlers using foreign substances on the ball to increase spin rates.
These substances usually help pitchers get a better grip on the ball, but they often result in a spin rate increase.
That’s why the league is against their use.
Teams can request a quick substance check from umpires if they see any suspicious activity on the mound.
It even happened in the postseason.
Without the use of the sticky stuff, as it is often called, many pitchers have seen their control numbers get worse because they struggle to get a grip on the ball.
It will be hard to forget about Barrett and Karinchak’s moment, one of the most bizarre of the 2022 campaign.