Baseball pitchers are allowed to use cheat sheets on the mound, MLB.com reported Sunday.
The site reported that Major League Baseball informed the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs that it is permissible, one day after umpire Joe West confiscated a reference card from Phillies reliever Austin Davis during the eighth inning.
West ruled the paper to be a violation of Rule 6.02(c)(7), which prohibits a pitcher from having “on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.”
West did not eject the left-handed rookie.
“I didn’t want to throw him out,” West said after Saturday’s game. “I know it’s foreign, but he’s not trying to cheat. Maybe he’s trying to get an advantage because he’s reading the scouting report, but it wasn’t pine tar, it wasn’t an emery board, it wasn’t whatever.”
Davis says the material helps him as he faces the hitters.
“This is something I create. We have our meeting where we go over the hitters,” Davis told reporters. “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.
“Our analytics department works really, really hard to come up with this stuff for us, and I want to use it because they work all day to come up with stuff to help get guys out. And if I have an answer to get a guy out, I want to know what that is.”
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said there is nothing wrong with the cheat sheets.
“I think it’s actually a really good thing for baseball,” Kapler said. “I don’t really quite understand (the confiscation). I mean, it’s not like he’s trying to hide anything. He’s standing on the back of the mound, pulling this card out of his pocket and using it to help us attack hitters.
“Our catchers have them on their wrists. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I understand that rules are in place for a reason, and we have to comply.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said the situation was “no big deal.”
Davis allowed two runs — both unearned — on three hits with two strikeouts in two innings of Saturday’s game. Davis is 1-2 with a 3.81 ERA in 23 relief appearances for the Phillies.
The Cubs prevailed 7-1.
—Field Level Media