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Phillie Is Latest to Be Ejected : Sandpaper Substance Found in Gross’ Glove

Associated Press

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kevin Gross was ejected from Monday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs because he had a sandpaper substance glued to his glove, according to the umpires.

After Cub Manager Gene Michael complained to home plate umpire Charlie Williams, the umpires went to the mound and examined both Gross’ glove and the ball.

Umpire crew chief John Kibler confiscated Gross’ glove and the ball, and then ejected Gross from the game. The ball and glove will be sent to the National League office in New York, and Gross could be suspended if it is found he defaced the ball.

Kibler informed the press box that Gross had an illegal substance glued to his glove.

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Gross and the Phillies led the Cubs, 4-2, in the top of the fifth when Michael complained to Williams.

“There was a piece of emery paper or sandpaper glued to the heel of the glove,” Kibler said.

“We’ll send the glove and ball to (National League President A. Bartlett) Giamatti.”

Kibler said he asked Gross to see the glove.

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“He handed it to me. We then took the glove and ejected him.”

Kibler said Michael and the Cubs had been complaining throughout the game that the ball was being scuffed.

Kibler said that the ball was clean, but he said Gross was ejected because of the substance in the glove.

Said Gross: “There was no reason to come out and check the glove for anything. I’m not saying anything.”

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Gross was told that Kibler said there was something in the glove.

“I don’t know,” the pitcher responded. “I don’t need anything in my glove.

“I’ll have something to say tomorrow. I don’t know what’s going on.”

Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Niekro is serving a 10-day suspension after he was caught with an emery board and sandpaper in his pocket in a game against the Angels on Aug. 3.

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This is the first time that Gross has been challenged in such a situation.

Gross came into Monday night’s game with a 6-10 record and 4.78 earned-run average. He had allowed six hits, two runs, walked and struck out two in 4 innings against Chicago.

Michael said the Cubs knew that Gross scuffed the ball. The manager said he did it the last time the Phillies were in Chicago.

“We were waiting for the right time. I thought he’d have one scuffed for Andre (Dawson). Maybe if we had waited for a pitch or two he’d of scuffed one.”

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Todd Frohwirth, recalled Monday from Maine of the International League, relieved Gross and retired the Cubs by striking out Dawson and getting Jerry Mumphrey on an infield out.

Frohwirth pitched 1 innings and got his first major league victory as the Phillies held on for a 4-2 victory. Kent Tekulve pitched two innings, and Steve Bedrosian got the last three outs for his 31st save.

Williams and Kibler were also involved in a controversy last week in New York, when Kibler confiscated the bat of New York Mets third baseman Howard Johnson.

Niekro, the first player suspended for doctoring baseballs since Gaylord Perry in 1982, was caught with the emery board and sandpaper after umpires already had collected several baseballs that appeared to have been scuffed.

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Niekro appealed the suspension, but it was upheld last Saturday by American League President Bobby Brown.


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