Major League Baseball umpire Tim McClelland likes to play by the rulebook. It’s a trait that suits him well, considering his profession. And unless you’re a fan of the Kansas City Royals who was outraged by McClelland’s involvement in the infamous George Brett pine tar incident.
McClelland’s strict adherence to the letter of the law rarely results in bizarre shenanigans on the diamond, but yesterday’s spring training game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians was an exception.
McClelland spotted a mysterious white substance on the tip of one of Angels pitcher Matt Oye’s fingers during his warm-up — a big no-no according to the rules, as it can be very distracting to batters trying to visually identify the ball coming out of a pitcher’s hand.
McClelland took a trip to the mound to investigate. It’s still unclear exactly what he discovered on Oye’s finger — perhaps it was clear nail polish, which some players use to strengthen their nails — but McClelland wasn’t about to let it slide.
An athletic trainer with the Angels came out to the mound with a black Sharpie and gave Oye an impromptu manicure, which satisfied McClelland enough to allow the game to proceed.
The Angels won the game 6-5. Oye pitched just one inning, allowing two hits in five batters and striking out one.
No word on whether he posted a photo of his pretty new fingernails to Instagram after the game.