Cardinals' Mike Shildt angry over umpire making pitcher remove hat: 'Wrong arena to expose it'

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St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt was ejected from Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox and pitcher Giovanny Gallegos was ordered to change his hat after an incident.

Umpire Joe West ordered Gallegos, who subbed in for Genesis Cabrera, to change his hat in the middle of an inning after spotting sunscreen on the bill. Shildt thought his player was unfairly singled out and took exception to West’s actions.

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Shildt talked about the incident after the game.

“This is baseball’s dirty little secret, and it’s the wrong time and the wrong arena to expose it,” he said. “Here’s the deal. First of all, Gio wears the same hat all year. Hats accrue dirt. Hats accrue substances. … Did Gio have some sunscreen at some point in his career to make sure he doesn’t get some kind of melanoma? Possibly. Does he use rosin to help out? Possibly. Are these things that baseball really wants to crack down on? No.”

West ordered the cap be switched after second  base umpire Dan Bellino noticed the substance on the bill. West said Gallegos told him it was sunscreen.

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Explaining the decision, West made him change the hat before throwing a pitch because “we don’t want anybody to be accused of cheating or any of that stuff.” The hat was sent to the Commissioner’s Office.

“The whole point of this is we’re trying to protect his pitcher, and [Shildt] got ejected,” West said.

Shildt questioned the enforcement.

“Let’s go check the guys that are sitting there going into their glove every day with filthy stuff coming out, not some guy before he even steps on the mound with a spot on his hat,” he said.

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The Cardinals ended up winning the game, 4-0.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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