Red Sox’s Garrett Richards Opens Up About New MLB Foreign Substance Rules

'I'm just grateful that I got this far into my career before we're at this point'


Jun 17, 2021

Throw Garrett Richards right in the bucket of frustrated Major League Baseball pitchers.

The Boston Red Sox starter went four innings in an ugly 10-8 win against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday that lasted more than four hours. He gave up six runs (four earned) off seven hits and a walk. He struck out three, but uncharacteristically hit two batters.

And with Major League Baseball’s recent memo, confirming it would be cracking down on the use of foreign substances pitchers use to grip the ball, Richards anticipates to see a lot more of the same.

The pitcher shared his perspective of the new rules after the win. Here is what he had to say:

Richards was asked about his pitch mix after having not thrown a single curveball.

Yeah, I just didn’t really feel convinced with any of my breaking balls tonight. So I just threw pretty much all fastballs.

Did that have to do with MLB’s new foreign substance mandates?

I think tonight spoke for itself. I’m not gonna get caught up in it all but I’ll definitely say it’s starting to affect people in their careers. So we’re gonna follow the rules but this is the game you’re gonna get.

I think time will tell. I think if you just watch baseball across the league you’re gonna see some interesting things. Be prepared for four-hour long games and and some interesting things. I’m just grateful that I got this far into my career before we’re at this point.

WBZ Radio’s Jonny Miller asked how often will umpires be checking balls.

I have no idea, Jonny, and to be honest with you, I don’t know that the people that are checking for whatever they’re supposed to be checking for are qualified to check for anything.

Did Richards personally use any substances to help him get a firm grip on the baseball?

As I get to the field every day I put sunscreen on. Well now I can’t do that, and on top of that, the only thing that’s provided is the rosin bag on the back of the mound which, to be honest with you, is completely useless. It does nothing, literally, it barely even dries up sweat. It might as well not even be there. I can’t even think how many times in over the entire course of my career that I’ve gone to the back of the rosin bag. Sometimes I’ve been on mounds that didn’t even have rosin bags on the back of the mound. It by itself doesn’t do anything for anybody. I don’t know anybody that that just uses rosin. You know, if we could somehow get a rosin bag that actually worked, I think that that’s something that should definitely be looked into. I don’t think anybody’s looking for anything over the top, I think we’re just trying to find something that will allow us to throw more strikes and still be able to compete. I mean, you know what I’m saying? At the end of the day, don’t we want both sides competing? If one side has to concede and the other side gets all the advantage then what are we doing here? We’re just watering down the purity of competing in the game.

After watching Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets pitchers Tyler Glasnow and Jacob deGrom go down after the new ruling, will we see more pitchers getting injured?

I think so, without a doubt. I can’t remember a game where I’ve gripped a baseball that hard. I definitely use a loose grip, and tonight, just to be in the zone, I even hit two guys. And I don’t hit people, you know? I don’t. I don’t hit people. With two strikes too, trying to go fastballs-in, and just missing up and in, but not really knowing why. There’s going to be a lot of adjustments made, I don’t know what kind of products is going to come out of it but I don’t know, we’ll figure it out.

How does an 11-year veteran adjust?

I mean I’m gonna figure it out. I made it through four innings with pretty much all fastballs tonight. So yeah, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll have to develop another pitch, maybe I’ll start learning to changeup or something, I don’t know. But this is where we’re at, and this is what we’re dealing with. Just got to make the best of it.

Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images
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