Cubs manager David Ross confirmed closer Craig Kimbrel had a conversation about his hat with umpire Joe West earlier in Friday's game.
Kimbrel was seen chatting with West on his way to the bullpen several innings before closing out Friday’s 1-0 Cubs win.
“I was aware of the conversation,” Ross said. “He had a conversation and him and Joe worked that out.”
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West made Cardinals pitcher Giovanny Gallegos change hats during Wednesday’s game against the White Sox due to a dark spot on the brim. Gallegos said it was just sunscreen, but West noted the umpire crew took no chances.
“We didn’t let him put himself in jeopardy. We did that as a defensive mechanism for everybody,” West said to St. Louis reporter Jeff Jones.
“We want the players to play the game. We don’t want anybody to be accused of cheating or any of that stuff.”
MLB has emphasized this in 2021 and after it came up on the South Side with the same crew, the Cubs anticipated it prior to returning home from their six-game road trip.
"If they take somebody's hat, we'll get them a new hat," Ross said Thursday.
The brim of Kimbrel's hat appeared cleaner Friday than other games this season, but the results on the mound were the same as they have been during his dominant start to the season.
Kimbrel picked up his 12th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, improving his ERA to 0.82.