Lester denies having foreign substance on glove
Jon Lester says there was nothing but rosin — which is perfectly legal — on his glove when he beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series.
Seattle Times news services
BOSTON — Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester said there was nothing but rosin — which is perfectly legal — on his glove when he beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series.
A Cardinals minor-leaguer posted a screen shot on Twitter showing a green substance on Lester’s glove. Tyler Melling, a 25-year-old pitcher in the Florida State League, wrote: “Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?”
The left-hander said before Game 2 on Thursday that “I can honestly tell you that all I use is rosin. So, it’s obviously frustrating that after a night like last night, we should be having fun and running around with some energy today and I’ve got to stand here and answer questions about it.”
Lester, from Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, allowed five hits in 72 / 3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and a walk in the Red Sox’s 8-1 victory.
Boston manager John Farrell also said Lester uses only rosin, which is provided on the pitcher’s mound, to get a better grip.
“If you know Jon Lester, he sweats like a pig and he needs rosin,” Farrell said before Game 2. “I don’t see this as anything at all.”
Major League Baseball said in a statement that “we cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game.”
Section 8.02 of the Official Baseball Rules says a pitcher “shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball” and says the penalty for a violation is ejection and an automatic suspension.
“MLB has obviously evaluated it and issued a statement,” Farrell said. “We consider it closed.”
Melling’s tweet was later deleted.
“Obviously, when I get a text at 2 o’clock in the morning, it’s not fun,” a composed Lester said. “I understand. I saw the picture. It looks bad.”
He also said he sweats a lot and rosin helps control that.
“I throw rosin in my glove. That’s it,” Lester said. “I warm up with one hat in the bullpen and then have to change hats when I come in (to the dugout). I’ve had plenty of games where I’ve got sweat dripping off my brim. ... Even on a cold night like last night, I’m still sweating, so you’ve got to do certain things to try to keep a grip on the ball and not let it slip, and rosin is one of those things that seems to help me.”
• Boston’s 8-1 win over the St. Louis in Game 1 drew an 8.6 national rating, a 14 share and 14.4 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said. The rating was up 13 percent from the 7.6/12 for San Francisco’s 8-3 victory over Detroit last year, which was a record low for a World Series opener.
• Farrell said he will probably start Jake Peavy in Game 3 of the World Series against the Cardinals, followed by Clay Buchholz in Game 4.
• Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Ray Davis will succeed Nolan Ryan as the controlling owner of the Texas Rangers.