A day later, Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon held firm on his stance that Nationals Manager Davey Johnson should not have asked umpires to check Rays reliever Joel Peralta’s glove based on “insider information” about the former Nationals player.
“Just looking down the road, if I’m a major league player that may happen to want to come to play for the Nationals in the future, I might think twice about it, under the circumstances,” Maddon said before Wednesday’s game. “Because this is a guy, this is one of their former children here that had really performed well and all of sudden he’s going to come back to this town and they’re going to rat on him based on some insider information.”
Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals and their Class AAA Syracuse affiliate in 2010, was ejected from Tuesday’s game before throwing a pitch because Johnson asked umpires to check his glove. Johnson said it was well-known that Peralta liked to use pine tar.
Before Wednesday’s game, Peralta sat inside the Rays’ clubhouse with red headphones on and watching music videos on his iPad, eye black smeared on both cheeks. While his former teammates took batting practice, he stood near the batting cage and chatted with some Nationals players.
“I talked to some of the guys,” Peralta said. “They feel bad about what happened to me. They’re angry on that side, too. They know who I am and they’re angry, too.”
Peralta, who said he was asked not to comment, declined to reveal the identities of the Nationals players.
Maddon didn’t deny that using pine tar is illegal for pitchers according to major league rules. Johnson said earlier that Maddon needed to consult the rulebook.
“Davey is right,” he said. “I’m incapable of reading the rulebook. And there’s also reading between the lines in some situations that needs to be looked at, too. He’s been around long enough. He knows. He knows better than that.”
Maddon said the pine tar should be allowed for pitchers because it’s only used to improve grip.
“Baseball players, throughout history, have always had this amazing ability and way to police themselves,” he said. “I believe in policing themselves component of this team that I think we should stay away from. Let the players take care of it. It’s happened for a long time.”
Rays closer Fernando Rodney, who notched the save on Tuesday night, said he didn’t think pine tar should be illegal and that Johnson shouldn’t have challenged Peralta.
“To me, I wouldn’t have done that,” Rodney said. He put his hands in the air and glove in between his legs to show he was clean before he pitched the ninth inning on Tuesday. “Because it’s perhaps a secret.”
More on the Peralta pine-tar controversy: