March 6 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Angels have fired visiting clubhouse manager Brian "Bubba" Harkins after they determined he allegedly had been providing ball-doctoring substances to opposing pitchers.
The Angeles confirmed the firing Thursday, but did not elaborate on the reason. Sources told the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic and ESPN the dismissal came after an internal investigation confirmed that Harkins had been providing the substances to away-team pitchers.
A source told ESPN that Harkins was giving the pitchers a substance consisting of a melted-down pine-tar solution and rosin. Pine tar helps pitchers grip the ball better, increasing pitch velocity and ball movement. Major League Baseball bans using the substance.
"He is no longer working for the Angels," team president John Carpino told the Times. "I cannot get into any more details than that."
Harkins had served as the clubhouse manager for visiting teams at Angel Stadium since 1990. He first joined the Angels in 1981 as a bat boy. He left for three seasons before returning in 1986 to become a clubhouse attendant. Harkins was the 2005 Visiting Clubhouse Manager of the Year.
The Angels will face the Kansas City Royals in a spring training game at 3:05 p.m. EST Friday at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz.