During the top of the eighth inning of Saturday night’s game against the Cubs in Philadelphia, third base umpire Joe West confiscated a card containing scouting reports from Phillies reliever Austin Davis.
West invoked Rule 6.02(c)(7), which states that a player shall not “have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.” Per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat and Joe Bloss, Major League Baseball said West was wrong to invoke that rule and confiscate the scouting report card from Davis, who has had that in his pocket throughout the season.
West said after the game, “I know all the players now carry a cheat sheet like this. I saw him take it out and I went, ‘What the heck is that?’ I said, ‘You can have it back after the game, but you can’t have it now.’ I didn’t want to throw him out. I know it’s foreign, but he’s not trying to cheat.”
Davis said of his scouting report card, “This is something that I create. We have our meeting where we go over the hitters. I take that information and put it on a card so I don’t have to try and memorize it, and use my mental energy to get ready for the game. Then I just take a glance and go.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, “It’s permissible — I didn’t understand why it wasn’t permissible. As long as [the card] is not attached to some kind of device that can alter or doctor the ball, it’s no big deal.”