/Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft asked to remove wedding ring during start

Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft asked to remove wedding ring during start

Until death — or an MLB umpire — do us part.

Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Graham Ashcraft was asked to remove the wedding ring that he wears on his glove hand during a routine foreign substance check as he left the field during Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

“The first-base umpire comes up, checks my right hand as normal. Then he asks me to take my glove off and saw my ring,” Ashcraft told reporters after the game. “He goes, ‘You have to take your ring off,’ “I was like, ‘No, why do I have to take my ring off? I shouldn’t have to.’ Then apparently it’s some new rule they came up with yesterday.”

Sort of. It’s not a new rule as much as it is a newly enforced old rule.

Reds starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, June 18, 2022, in Cincinnati.
Reds starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Brewers.
AP

Reds manager David Bell said he received a memo Friday informing him that Rule 6.02(c)(7) would be enforced more strictly, but he hadn’t given it much thought until it came up during the game. Ashcraft asked for confirmation of the policy from the home-plate umpire before conceding.

The rule governing foreign substances — the big controversy of the 2021 season because of Spider Tack and other similar substances on the baseball — also states that “The pitcher may not attach anything to either hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, bracelet, etc.). The umpire shall determine if such attachment is indeed a foreign substance for the purpose of Rule 6.02(c)(7), but in no case may the pitcher be allowed to pitch with such attachment to his hand, finger or wrist.”

“I hadn’t read [the memo] super close, so as soon as Graham came off the field, I knew I had received that, so we went and double-checked, and there is a rule, and they just reminded us recently,” Bell said. “I think that helped, like the rule or not, it was something that was going to be enforced, and Graham understood that after that explanation. I did a poor job of explaining it before the game. Thankfully nothing bad happened. It was nice that they just warned him and made him aware of it.”

Ashcraft attached his ring to his chain necklace for the rest of his five-inning outing. He suffered his first loss of the year after allowing six earned runs on eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts in the Reds’ 7-3 defeat to the Brewers.