“Sticky stuff” defamation lawsuit against Angels, MLB reinstated by court

February 3, 2022

An Orange County, Calif. court reinstated the defamation lawsuit filed by former Angels clubhouse manager Bubba Hankins, who was fired in March 2020 for providing “sticky stuff” to pitchers during his time with the team. Hankins sued the Angels and MLB for defamation, alleging that both parties made comments that damaged his reputation and made it impossible for him to get a job in baseball.

The suit was dismissed in January 2021 by Orange County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey T. Glass, but a panel of three judges overturned that decision on Wednesday, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Hankins, who worked for the Angels in various roles for 38 years, contends that it was common knowledge that pitchers throughout baseball used foreign substances to improve their grips on the baseball. He said last season that he had provided substances to many prominent pitchers, including Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole.