Lawsuit claims Justin Verlander, other pitchers sought illegal sticky substance

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Former Los Angeles Angels visiting clubhouse manager Brian “Bubba” Harkins, who was fired after being connected to the distribution of aa special grip-enhancing substance out of the visitor’s clubhouse, is naming names in a lawsuit against his former team and Major League Baseball.

And one of the names will certainly be familiar to folks in the Motor City – former Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, now with the Houston Astros.

The following text from New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole was entered into evidence:

“Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole,” the text reads. “I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation [winky face emoji]. We don’t see you until May, but we have some road games in April that are in cold weather places. The stuff I had last year seizes up when it gets cold …”

Verlander, who was Cole’s teammate in Houston, was named in the lawsuit along with Edwin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber, Joba Chamberlain and Adam Wainwright as pitchers who requested his mixture.


“The [filings include] a declaration from Harkins in which he recalled a March 26 interview with attorneys from MLB and the Angels. During the interview, Harkins claims, he identified Cole, Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber, Joba Chamberlain, Adam Wainwright and Tyler Chatwood among the pitchers who previously asked for his specific blend of pine tar and rosin, which became popular throughout the league after he made it for former closer Troy Percival more than 20 years ago.”


The opposition, first reported on by the Los Angeles Times, states that Harkins absorbed undeserved hits to his reputation in the wake of his firing, leaving him unable to find other employment, and that nobody else has been punished amid baseball’s efforts to curb the practice of applying sticky substances to baseballs.

“MLB and the Angels have artificially created a one-person scandal,” the opposition claims, “and in doing so, have avoided disciplining the players they repeatedly protect from their rule breaking.”

A hearing has been scheduled for January 21.

– – Quotes via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN Link – –

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