MLB umpires forced Cincinnati Reds starter Graham Ashcraft to remove his wedding ring as part of a league against pitchers who use foreign materials to gain a better grip on baseball.
Ashcraft wore the band in his left hand, which he hid in his glove when he pitched. The Reds were playing with the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday when he was told to dig for jewelry. He said the umpire told him the rule was not new, but that they had been enforcing it since Friday.
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“The first base umpire came up and checked my right hand as usual. Then he asked me to take off my glove and looked at my ring. He walked away, ‘You have to remove your ring,'” he told reporters after the game. By Athletic. “I said, ‘No, why should I take off my ring? I shouldn’t.’ Then apparently this is the new rule they created yesterday. “
The rule states that a pitcher is forbidden to add anything to their hands.
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Reds manager David Bell said he received the memo reminding players and managers about policy implementation, but did not read it too closely.
“As a rule I think it helped or not, it’s something that is going to be implemented and Graham understood after that explanation,” Bell said. “Before the game I did a poor job of explaining it. Fortunately nothing bad happened. They were happy to warn him and let him know about it.”
Ashcraft was tagged for six runs on eight hits in five innings. He took four wickets in a 7-3 defeat to the Reds Brewers.
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Ashcraft was called to the big leagues last month. He made six starts for the Reds and had 3.51 erras in 33 1/3 innings, including 19 strikeouts.