So on Tuesday night, Joe Maddon said Davey Johnson was being cowardly for checking out Joel Peralta’s glove for pine tar.
On Wednesday morning, Mike Rizzo said Johnson would have been in the doghouse if he hadn’t.
“If Davey or somebody in the dugout knew that there was a foreign substance on the glove and it was assisting the pitcher, and they didn’t call them out, then they’d have a problem with me,” Rizzo said during his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny program.
“Because we’re trying to win games, too, and if you’re doing something that’s not according to the rules and it gives you an unfair advantage, you should be called on it,” Rizzo continued. “We knew Joel because he was with us before, and we felt that was the case. Davey called him out, and he happened to be right. So that’s the gamesmanship of managing in the big leagues. We’re trying to win, too, and if that’s what it takes for them to perform and they get caught with it, so be it.”
Rizzo said he didn’t expect any retaliation from Tampa this week, that Maddon’s comments were “gamesmanship and sticking up for your players.” The Nats’ GM also said that he didn’t know that Johnson was going to have Peralta examined. But when a caller protested, suggesting that the Nats must have knowingly harbored a cheater when Peralta was in their ‘pen, Rizzo didn’t exactly disagree.
“I’ll put it this way, he didn’t make it much of a secret that he used a substance,” Rizzo said. “Our coaching staff had all these players as minor leaguers throughout our system, and it was felt by our staff, this is something that we like to have a level playing field, and we felt like it wasn’t. And we called them on it.
“They could have easily checked his glove and he didn’t have it and this would’ve been all forgotten. But he did, and the umpires thought it was enough to confiscate his glove and eject him from the ball game.”
Listen to the Rizzo audio here, in segments 7 and 8.
Video of Joe Maddon’s reaction
Peralta talks about the episode
Tuesday night game story