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Peralta ejected for having pine tar on glove

WAS View Full Game Coverage HINGTON -- Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected prior to the bottom of the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 5-4 win over the Nationals for having pine tar on his glove.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked crew chief Tim Tschida to inspect Peralta's glove after the right-hander came in for Rays starter David Price and began throwing warmup pitches. After the umpires gathered around the mound, Peralta's glove was removed and taken over to the Rays' dugout before he was ejected.

"Someone [on the Nationals' bench] had been chirping about pine tar," Johnson said, declining to say who specifically had mentioned it. "If somebody has been known to use a foreign substance on their glove or their hat, a nice hot night is the time to use it. And so I asked them to check, obviously he had it."

Jake McGee entered the game in place of Peralta, while Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth inning to earn his 20th save.

"It was a significant amount of pine tar," Tschida said. "Inside [the glove], where the hand goes inside."

Rays manager Joe Maddon adamantly defended his pitcher after the game and accused Johnson of being "cowardly." Later in the game, Maddon reciprocated with a request of his own to check Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus' glove in the ninth inning.

"It's kind of a common practice that people have done this for years," Maddon said. "To point one guy out because he had pitched there, where there's probably some common knowledge based on that, I thought it was a real cowardly -- I've used that word twice this year -- move."

The other time Maddon accused a manager of being "cowardly" was when Boston manager Bobby Valentine ordered Franklin Morales to hit Luke Scott with a pitch during the ninth inning of the May 25 game in Boston.

After McGee pitched the eighth inning, Nats reliever Ryan Mattheus came on to pitch the ninth. Once Mattheus retired the first two batters he faced, manager Joe Maddon emerged from the Rays' dugout and asked Tschida to inspect Mattheus' hat and glove.

Official Rule: 8.02(a)(2)
  • The pitcher shall not have expectorate on the ball, either hand or his glove.
    (a) The pitcher shall be ejected immediately from the game and shall be suspended automatically for 10 games.
    (b) If a play follows the violation called by the umpire, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects to accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise, and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violation.
    (c) Even though the offense elects to take the play, the violation shall be recognized and the penalties in subsection (a) will still be in effect.
    (d) The umpire shall be sole judge on whether any portion of this rule has been violated.
  • Rules 8.02(a)(2) through 8.02(a)(6)
    Comment: If a pitcher violates either Rule 8.02(a)(2) or 8.02(a)(3) and, in the judgment of the umpire, the pitcher did not intend, by his act, to alter the characteristics of a pitched ball, then the umpire may, in his discretion, warn the pitcher in lieu of applying the penalty set forth for violations of 8.02(a)(2) through 8.02(a)(6). If the pitcher persists in violating either of those Rules, however, the umpire should then apply the penalty.

"I looked at the hat," Tschida said. "He put them both out. I looked at the hat. The hat was all sweat anyway. And the glove was clean as a whistle."

After the game, Maddon said his decision to have Mattheus checked was a bit of gamesmanship.

"I'm certain that if [Mattheus] had any inclination to utilize something, it was not going to happen after what had just happened," Maddon said. "But there's no way I could not call him on it after what had happened."

Peralta said the glove he was wearing was the one he uses for batting practice.

To improve the grip so it doesn't slip out of their hands, batters often apply pine tar to their bats while in the on-deck circle and as they're walking into the batter's box.

"It's kind of a common practice that people have done this for years," Maddon said. "To point one guy out because he had pitched there, where there's probably some common knowledge based on that, I thought it was a real cowardly -- I've used that word twice this year -- move."

After being ejected, Peralta tipped his cap toward the Nationals' dugout.

"Good for them," he said. "They still lost the game, so ..."

Peralta spent the 2010 season with the Nationals, appearing in 39 games while compiling a 1-0 record with a 2.02 ERA over 49 innings.

Aside from the year he spent in Washington, Peralta also has a connection with Nationals first-base coach Trent Jewett. Prior to being called up to the Majors in 2010, Peralta appeared in 28 games for the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs, when Jewett was the manager.

"Trent has helped me a lot," Peralta said. "I trust him, and he's a good guy. He was like my dad in Triple-A, so even if he did say something [about the pine tar], I don't care. He was really good to me."

Asked about the incident after the game, Price was reluctant to get involved.

"I don't know, man," Price said. "I know that [Peralta] was over there fighting for those guys, giving everything he had two years ago. He threw the ball extremely well for them. I don't feel like I can say a whole lot without stepping on toes."

Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Mattheus, Joel Peralta