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Umpire Makes Major League Pitcher Remove His Wedding Ring During Game

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Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcroft was forced to remove his wedding ring under a newly enforced MLB rule
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A Cincinnati Reds pitcher was left furious when Major League Baseball umpires made him take off his wedding ring, even though it was on his glove hand.

Graham Ashcraft was told before taking the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday he couldn’t wear the symbol of his love for his wife during a foreign substances check in the first inning. The right hander couldn’t believe his ears, according to USA Today.

“He goes, ‘you have to take your ring off,'” Ashcraft said after the game. “I was like, ‘no, why do I have to take my ring off? I shouldn’t have to.’ Apparently, it’s some new rule they came up with yesterday.”

Ashcraft’s ring was made of black silicone.

The edict followed an MLB warning this week that it would begin enforcing a rule against hand, finger and wrist attachments. The rule is designed to stop pitchers from having foreign substances on their hands that they can then put on the ball to alter the way it spins as it crosses home plate.

Rule 6.02(c)(7) of the MLB rulebook states that pitchers “may not attach anything to either hand, any finger or either wrist.” Umpires have discretion to decide if such an attachment can be considered a foreign substance, “but in no case may the pitcher be allowed to pitch with such attachment to his hand, finger or wrist.”

The rule has long been in place, but umpires had not been known to enforce it. Reds manager David Bell said a memo was issued to teams earlier this week that the rule would soon begin to be enforced.

“I actually did get a memo about it,” Bell said. “I knew I had. I hadn’t read it super close, so as soon as Graham came off the field, we went and double-checked and there is a rule. They just reminded us recently. I don’t know if it was a new one or a reminder.”

Ashcraft complied and promptly got shelled, giving up eight hits and six as the Reds lost by a score of 7-3.

Ashcraft, a 24-year-old rookie, is having a strong season with a 3-1 record and an earned run average of 3.51 since being called up from the minor leagues on May 20.

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