James Joyce, the umpire and not the novelist, ejected Will Smith, the relief pitcher and not the actor, from Thursday night’s Atlanta Braves-Milwaukee Brewers game.
The Milwaukee lefty sported visible brownish goo on his right arm. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez brought it to the umpires’ attention, and Joyce issued the ejection.
Here it is…..yup it’s there. pic.twitter.com/xZTaNg7nZZ
— Bill Michaels (@Bill_Michaels) May 22, 2015
Smith beaned Pedro Ciriaco before Gonzales called the foreign substance to the umps’ attention during Jace Peterson’s seventh-inning at bat.
Will Smith: “I had to kind of get ready in a hurry and I forgot (to remove the substance).” — Tom (@Haudricourt) May 22, 2015
More Smith: “I’m a competitor. You want to stay in the game and pitch. It was a big situation. I was pissed I got thrown out.”
— Tom (@Haudricourt) May 22, 2015
Smith: “You want to be able to feel the ball. It’s just for grip.” — Tom (@Haudricourt) May 22, 2015
The Braves quickly added insult to injury. The teams entered the seventh stalemated at 1-1. The Braves emerged with an 8-1 lead.
The Brewers dismissed Gonzalez’s objections to the substance on Smith’s arm as gamesmanship and the pitcher insisted that he relied on it for grip and not to gain an unfair advantage. He told reporters that the substance consisted of rosin and sunscreen, and that he merely forgot to wipe it off before entering the game.
The Braves ultimately won 10-1, evening out their record at 20-20. The Brewers own the worst record in the National League at 15-27.
The Brew Crew seeks revenge Friday night in Atlanta.