Hats on: Neris will continue to wear filthy cap

Hats on: Neris will continue to wear filthy cap

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies closer Hector Neris has a filthy baseball cap.

He knows this, but Neris said before Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers that he has no plans to clean the old one or use a new one. Neris' cap is covered so much with rosin -- the front is smeared with white residue -- that the Dodgers asked the home-plate umpire to inspect it for any illegal substances in Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Other than rosin, the cap was clean.

"This is the same hat I've used all year," Neris said. "Every time I touched my hat, it was dirty, and when I put the rosin on my hat where it was dirty, it turned colors. And it was sweaty."

Neris said he wasn't upset that the Dodgers asked. In fact, he seemed to expect it. And he seemed prepared for other teams to ask for an inspection the remainder of the season.

"As long as they say, 'All right, it's just dirty, there's nothing wrong,'" Neris said. "Then I don't have problems."

Neris entered Tuesday's game 4-5 with a 3.28 ERA and 22 saves in 68 appearances, including a 2.89 ERA since he blew his last save on June 21, although he suffered three losses in that span. Neris seems likely to be the closer next season, unless the Phillies find help outside the organization in the offseason.

"I like it a lot," Neris said about the closer role. "I like that moment when the fans are jumping and we start to win."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.