A longtime employee of the Los Angeles Angels was fired Thursday after the team learned of his alleged involvement with baseball tampering.
Brian “Bubba” Harkins was initially fired with little information, but it was later revealed in a report by the Los Angeles Times that he was allegedly selling what he called “Go-Go Juice” — a mixture of rosin and pine tar — to visiting pitchers to help them better grip baseballs. The practice of gaining an edge against the Angels at home was apparently commonly known throughout baseball with Harkins allegedly using the scheme to earn extra money.
Reportedly, several other people were fired as a result of the practice, but their names have not been released at this time. Team president John Carpino issued a brief statement to the paper about Harkins’ firing.
“He is no longer working for the Angels. I cannot get into any more details than that.”
The firing comes in the wake of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that ousted general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch and left teams understandably nervous about any impropriety found in their clubhouses.
The widely respected Harkins had been a staple of the organization. MLB equipment managers named him Visiting Clubhouse Manager of the Year in 2005.
We will update this story as more details come available.