Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about Will Smith’s foreign substance:
Every pitcher does it. As a hitter you want them to do it so they have a better grip, so we don’t get hit in the head. But just hide it better next time.”
Translation: “That thing you’re doing which is a really great idea and even a safety measure? Jesus, hide it better!” Which makes absolutely zero sense.
And here’s Craig Counsell in the same vein:
“Pitchers are trying to get grips on the ball. We’ve had hitters on other teams ask for pitchers to get a grip on the ball. We’ve had hitters hit in the head asking for pitchers to get grips on the ball. It’s very common. It goes on, on the other side, I guarantee you. It’s the rule. Pitchers are using it. You’ve got to be discreet about it, I guess.
Again, ridiculous. And it compels one to ask why Fredi Gonzalez felt it necessary to point it out to the umps if, in reality, this was a safety measure for his hitters.