Lester, Farrell say only rosin on the glove

Lester, Farrell say only rosin on the glove
October 24, 2013, 6:15 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON - For the second time this year, a Red Sox starting pitcher has been  accused of having a foreign substance on him while pitching. In May, it was Clay Buchholz in Toronto; Wednesday night, it was Jon Lester in Game 1 of the 2013 World Series.

A minor leaguer in the St. Louis Cardinals' system tweeted out a picture of Lester's glove, which contained a seemingly green substance that Lester rubbed on his fingers before delivering some pitches.

The Red Sox maintain that the substance is merely rosin and not illegal. Major League Baseball issued a statement Thursday morning.

"There were no complaints from the Cardinals and umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game.''

"The only thing he uses is rosin,'' said John Farrell. "MLB has obviously reviewed it and issued their statement. It's considered a closed case. The Cardinals have even responded [that it wasn't a concern of theirs]. And if you know Jon Lester, he sweats like a pig and he needs rosin, like any other pitcher.

"He chooses to keep it in his glove. You'll see [John] Lackey tonight, he uses it on his arm; other guys have it on their pants. I don't see this as being anything.''

"I didn't do anything [improper],'' said Lester before Game 2 of the World Series. "John addressed it. MLB addressed it. The Cardinals addressed it. The rosin bag's back there for a reason. I just so happen to put it in my glove. That seems to the
best system for me that works. I'm going to continue to do it, and that's really it.''

Lester said there are two ways to react to the accusation.

"You can take it as something that bothers you,'' he said, "or you can take it as a compliment...It is what it is. It's part of the game. But I can stand here that I just use rosin. It's all I've ever used and all I will use.''

A member of the Red Sox' PR staff texted Lester late Wednesday night to  alert him to the budding controversy "just to give me a heads up, so I didn't come in today with a big shock and, I guess, prepare for me for it.''

What's strange, Lester acknowledged, is that the rosin appears to be a lime green hue in pictures and video.

"I don't know what that is -- it looks almost like a giant booger, almost.'' he said. "I don't know how that came about, with the lighting...I don't know. But like I said, it's rosin. I guess with sweat or licking your fingers, it may turn a different color. I don't pay attenton to that stuff when I'm pitching.''
Lester said the entire episode represented the "negative side of social media. We can use Twitter and Facebook and all these things for a lot of positive things as far as charity and communicating with people. And then you have instances like this, where I'm standing here in front of you guys because of it.''