Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Joel Peralta was suspended eight games by Major League Baseball after being ejected from a game against the Washington Nationals three nights ago for having pine tar on his glove.
Peralta, who played for the Nationals in 2010, was set to replace starter David Price and was throwing warmup pitches before the bottom of the eighth inning when Washington manager Davey Johnson asked umpire crew chief Tim Tschida to inspect Peralta’s glove.
“It was a significant amount of pine tar,” Tschida told reporters after the game.
Peralta has appealed, delaying the start of the suspension.
Batters use pine tar to keep the bat from slipping out of their hands, but it’s not allowed for use by pitchers. MLB rules state that pitchers may not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball or have a foreign substance in their possession.
After the game, which the Rays won 5-4, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon told reporters that pitchers’ use of pine tar is a common practice and that Johnson’s decision to challenge Peralta, possibly based on knowledge gained during the time the pitcher spent with the Nationals, was “real cowardly.”
“You’re going to see brand new gloves throughout the major leagues starting tomorrow,” Maddon said.
Peralta, 36, is 0-2 this season with a 3.81 earned run average in 35 appearances. He tipped his hat toward the Nationals’ dugout while walking off the field.
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