WASHINGTON -- Around two weeks ago, the Nationals, along with the rest of Major League Baseball, received a memo from the league regarding the length of laces on pitchers' gloves.
The league stated the long laces provided an unfair advantage in situations where pitchers were covering bases -- home plate, for example. If a play goes to replay review and the umpire sees the glove laces touch the base runner, the umpire must rule that baserunner out. So MLB started a directive to eliminate this potential flaw in the game.
"It's up the umpires now to police that," manager Matt Williams said.
Reliever Craig Stammen said the Nationals bullpen didn't think much of the memo. They even laughed about it during batting practice on Friday afternoon. But the jokes took a turn for the serious during the series opener against the Brewers Friday night when both Stammen and reliever Drew Storen were forced to trim their laces, as mandated by home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild.
"I was just kind of confused all around," Storen said. "I guess now I'll keep that in mind."
The first incident occurred with Storen on the mound in the eighth inning. Head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz jogged onto the field and took a pair of scissors to the right-hander's glove. The same thing happened the following inning, though Stammen said he was mentally prepared.
"Knock that one off the bucket list," Storen said.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. He also can be found on Twitter @danielrpopper. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.