Major League Baseball announced an eight-game suspension for Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Joel Peralta using pine tar on his glove in Tuesday’s game against the Washington Nationals. The Rays, however, are appealing the decision and Peralta will be available to pitch in Thursday’s series finale.
Peralta was ejected from the 5-4 victory over the Nationals because of what home plate umpire Tim Tschida called a “significant amount” of pine tar in his glove. When Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals and their Class AAA affiliate in 2010, entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, Manager Davey Johnson asked that Tschida check Peralta’s glove.
Of the suspension, Peralta said: “Whatever they do is fair because that’s what it’s going to be. So, I’m pleased.”
After Tuesday’s game, a war of words between Rays Manager Joe Maddon and Johnson ensued about the sport’s unwritten code and the actual rulebook. Maddon described Johnson’s challenge as “cowardly” for using information about a former player, and Johnson then called Maddon a “weird wuss” who needed to read the rulebook.
Peralta, who pitched the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game, said he talked with some Nationals players on Wednesday and felt confident that it wasn't them that turned him in.
“They approached me yesterday and said they were sorry about what happened,” Peralta said. “And I really trust those guys. I had fun when I was here … I love those guys. I love every teammate on there when I was on the team.”
Peralta entered in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game to a chorus of boos from the fans at Nationals Park.
“Last night, I throw harder than I throw all year,” he said. “It feels really, really good to be out there, even with the boos. I didn’t care about that.”
This story was updated at 6:05 p.m.