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Resolution on Mariners reliever Hector Santiago's appeal for a 'foreign substance' coming Wednesday

Resolution on Mariners reliever Hector Santiago's appeal for a 'foreign substance' coming Wednesday

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Santiago 10-game suspension upheld for foreign substance

In this file photo Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais, left, listens to home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi about relief pitcher Hector Santiago, right, during the fifth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Sunday, June 27.

It appears there will finally be a resolution to the absurdity surrounding Mariners lefty Hector Santiago, his 10-game suspension for having an “undisclosed foreign substance” on his glove and his subsequent appeal.

Santiago and Mariners manager Scott Servais said Major League Baseball will offer its ruling on his appeal Wednesday.

“That was the day they put out there where they would have some decision,” Servais said.

It means Santiago will be available for the entire weekend series vs. the Angels, which is big since Seattle will be making a bullpen start Sunday.

Per MLB sources, the appeal, which started Thursday morning at T-Mobile Park, took most of Thursday. Major League Baseball brought four lawyers to push their case for the suspension being upheld.

Santiago had multiple lawyers representing him, including two from the Major League Baseball Players Association and one from his agency. The Mariners also had a representative there at all times. General manger Jerry Dipoto, assistant GM Justin Hollander and manager Scott Servais also sat in for parts of the hearing.

Santiago did not stay for the entire appeal process because the Mariners had an afternoon game with the Yankees. He was allowed to make a statement and explanation of what happened and why he wasn’t in violation of commissioner Rob Manfred’s latest cause to fix baseball.

But he was not allowed to speak or defend himself after that statement, regardless of what accusations were levied against him by MLB’s lawyers.

Another MLB source said Santiago, who has maintained that any sticky substance was only rosin from the bag behind the mound mixed with sweat, explained exactly what he was doing and how he applied the rosin to both arms to stop the sweat from dripping down to his hands on that humid Sunday in Chicago.

The glove Santiago was using June 27 vs. the White Sox with the supposed sticky substance also was in the appeals process. The glove, inspected by home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after Santiago was removed from the game in the fifth, was said to have a circular disc of sticky substance on the inside palm area.

It was confiscated by the umpires after they ejected Santiago. It was placed in a plastic bag and taken from the field by MLB personnel. It was supposedly delivered to MLB for inspection. But Servais confirmed reports that MLB suspended Santiago without actually inspecting the glove for a sticky substance.

Servais was pleased the glove was used in the hearing.

“That was a good sign,” he said. “They had the evidence. And I’m sure they’re looking at the tape and talking to a lot of other people and putting it all together.”

Asked if MLB had the glove checked to see if it was rosin in the glove or some other substance, Servais couldn’t help but make a joke. To him and the Mariners, this entire development has been a comedy that at times is more annoying and petty than funny.

“I don’t think that it has gone to a forensics lab,” Servais said. “It’s not CSI Seattle.”

Sources said Santiago took the glove and showed the inside of the palm to the arbiter and the lawyers from MLB, asking them to touch it and find the sticky substance in it, which there was none. Also the circular dark spot that Cuzzi spoke of when it came to the ejection was not evident.

And yet, there is a belief among the Mariners that Santiago still will receive some sort of suspension. But they’ll be happy if it’s reduced to at least five games. Losing Santiago and being unable to fill his roster spot would be difficult coming out of the All-Star break.

“Total clown show,” one Mariners player said. “They’ve gotta have someone to blame. It’s easier to do when it’s a 33-year-old journeyman.”

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