AP Source: Angels’ visiting clubbie fired for ball-doctoring

Sports

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Matt Ball works against a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the eighth inning of a spring training baseball game Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have fired longtime visiting clubhouse manager Brian “Bubba” Harkins for allegedly aiding opposing pitchers in obtaining illegal substances to put on baseballs, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Angels don’t publicly discuss the details of internal personnel matters.

The Angels confirmed Harkins’ dismissal Thursday night to The Associated Press.

Harkins was fired Tuesday while the Angels are in Arizona for spring training. He has worked at Angel Stadium for most of the past four decades.

Major League Baseball has been cracking down this spring on the use of pine tar and other substances pitchers use to get a better grip on the ball. Such practices, including a popular concoction from sunscreen and resin, have technically been outlawed for years, but those rules had been enforced sparingly.

The Angels moved immediately to dismiss Harkins after learning of his actions in previous seasons, the source told the AP.

Harkins started out as a batboy with the Angels. He eventually became a clubhouse attendant in the 1980s, and he has been in his current job in the visitors’ clubhouse since 1990.

The Los Angeles Times first reported Harkins’ firing.

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