He pitched for the Nationals in 2010, so the team may have had some inside knowledge about Joel Peralta‘s – well –
habits. According to both TampaBay.com and Matt Snyder of CBS Sports, Davey Johnson, manager of the Nationals, asked the umpiring crew to check on Peralta’s glove when he came into the game in the 8th inning last night. Peralta was promptly ejected, his glove confiscated, and will likely face a suspension.
When crew chief Tim Tschida went out and checked on Peralta’s glove, it was immediately obvious that there was a a substance on the glove. That substance was pine tar, and a significant amount of it was found according to most reports.
Snyder points out:
From Rule 8 of the MLB official rulebook, a pitcher “shall not … apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.” The penalty is immediate ejection and an “automatic” 10-game suspension.
Peralta has been with the Rays since last season. So far this year, he has appeared in 34 games and pitched 28 1/3 innings. He has a 3.81 ERA and an 11.1 K/9 ratio. He is often used as the club’s set-up man. In his career, the 36-uear old Peralta is 8-17 with a 3.98 ERA.
After the game, Johnson said, “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.”
Considering Peralta played for the Nationals, it is entirely possible that a Nats player could have told Johnson about Peralta’s potential for using pine tar or “foreign substances” while pitching.
According to Peralta, the glove in question is the one he uses for batting practice everyday. It’s a stretch and Peralta may have a better defense in simply pointing out he didn’t throw a pitch in the 8th inning. If we’re taking the rules as they’re laid out, Peralta didn’t even have the opportunity to violate the Rule 8. Obviously, the argument is that if he had pine tar on his glove last night, he has probably been doctoring the ball in the past or intended to doctor the ball against the Nationals.
Through it all, Peralta made sure to point out the most important thing for the Rays and their fans when talking about being caught:
Good for them. They still lose the game.
For more Rays coverage and pine tar doctoring tips (maybe), check out Rays Colored Glasses.