Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected for having pine tar on his glove during Tampa Bay's 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.
Peralta was warming up in the eighth inning and hadn't faced a batter yet when Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked the umpires to check the pitcher's glove. Crew chief Tim Tschida said after the game that there was a “significant amount of pine tar” on the glove.
Rays manager Joe Maddon was his typical candid self during the post-game interview and was not pleased. While he admitted that Peralta had pine tar on his glove, he was frustrated with Johnson exposing the pitcher, calling the tactic “cowardly,” and using an expletive to drive his point home. Seeming to suggest that doctoring the baseball with pine tar was an ordinary practice, Maddon said he believed “there's going to be a lot of clean gloves [tomorrow], that's my bet.” He also questioned how the move would play in the Nationals clubhouse and clubhouses around the league.
Peralta pitched for the Nationals in 2010, going 1-0 with a 2.02 ERA in 49 innings. His prior stint with the club and some of what Johnson said after the game suggest that Peralta's practice of using pine tar dated back at least to his Nationals days, and the informant came from within that clubhouse.
Peralta, a key reliever for Tampa Bay the past two seasons, may face a suspension. But got the last laugh on Tuesday.
“Good for them,” he said. “They still lose the game.”
Here's Maddon's interview session after the game:
And here's Johnson's interview session, where he explains why he targeted Peralta: