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Joel Peralta ejected for pine tar, umpires confiscate glove

Jun 19, 2012, 10:16 PM EDT

joel peralta getty Getty Images

Here’s something that doesn’t happen often.

Rays setup man Joel Peralta was ejected in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game in the nation’s capital after Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked the umpires to take a look at his glove.

The umps found a foreign substance (likely pine tar) and gave Peralta the boot while confiscating his mitt.

Peralta played for the Nationals in 2010, so the assumption is that a former teammate alerted Johnson to the right-hander’s against-policy tricks.

The Rays countered in the ninth inning, asking to see the hat of Nats reliever Ryan Mattheus. It was clean.


UPDATE, 10:29 PM: Some postgame reaction to the incident …

  1. biasedhomer - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Hypocritical Nationals

    • goskinsvt - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      ‘It’s not cheating unless you get caught’

      • biasedhomer - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM

        Its not cheating unless you use it against us.

      • no14mike - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:34 AM


    • natslady - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      During pregame warmups, Nats manager Davey Johnson was watching him throw and asked “How’d we let this guy get away?” In return he heard, as he put it, probably more than he needed to know. Might not have been the best move to have Peralta ejected, as the next reliever set down the Nats 1-2-3 and they lost, 5-4. The umpire crew chief allowed Rays manager Joe Madden “one inspection,” which he used on the Nats’ reliever–nothing but a sweaty cap and grins all around.

      In the same game there was a lengthy delay because the Rays complained about an advertisement near the batters’ eye–when the ad could not be turned off, the grounds crew hung a tarp over it. Also, Madden called for a Nats home run to be reviewed (it was upheld).

      Reportedly, Joe Madden said Davey Johnson’s call for the glove inspection “cowardly.” There is no report on how Davey felt about the batters’ eye complaint.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        Typical Joe “we don’t throw at guys but they throw at us” Maddon, acting like he wouldn’t have done the same thing if he were given the chance to.

  2. Bryz - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    He should have spit on the ball like Valverde.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Let me ask you people something: Don’t you guys think it is a little bit bogus that somebody would “report” him to their manager? Seems like some bush league psyche out shit to me.

    • lrak76 - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:24 AM

      You want pine tar? I can get you pine tar, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don’t wanna know about it, believe me.

      The ump confiscates his glove and we’re supposed to shit ourselves in fear?

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:41 AM

        Hell, I can get you a glove by 3 o’clock this afternoon… with pine tar. These fucking amateurs…

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    I know most of the commenters on here don’t agree with this sentiment, but I think a plunking is in order. Got to stick up for your teammate and whatnot. I’m not really sure who to plunk so I will say Ian Desmond.

    • paperlions - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:23 PM

      That is freaking stupid.

      Don’t want to get caught cheating? Don’t cheat.

      Get caught cheating? Only one person to blame, yourself.

      What is pathetic is the Rays trying to spin it as anything other than what it was….one of their players always cheats, and he got caught…now take responsibility and STFU.

  5. highlander24 - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    It’s a weird tactic but it’s a pretty good move navy the manager. I might have done the same.

  6. highlander24 - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    WOW AUTOCORRECT, WOW! Pretty good move *BY the manager. I don’t think this was not matter of war, don’t need to call the navy. That could have been my fault though.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      If we had an edit function, you wouldn’t have to worry about posting corrections in previous messages due to faulty bizarre auto correct setting.

  7. ezthinking - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    And Pena thought it was punk for the Nats to rat him out. Pretty clear Pena and the Rays are the rats. Low budget, cheat to win.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      Can somebody translate what he is talking about for me? I’m not sure I understand the precise events that lead him to make this statement. It could be me though…it is late and I am tired.

      • ezthinking - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM

        Watch Sports Center.

    • djpostl - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      Lol, yet it wasn’t “low budget” or “cheating” when he was doing it on behalf of the Nats?

      • ezthinking - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:30 PM

        If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. Another player comes out and bitches about ANYTHING someone else is doing, from stealing signs to steroids, it is all fair game is you condone hiding another player’s cheating. Pick a side; cheating is trying, cheating is wrong. There is no grey with Pena’s position.

      • natstowngreg - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:12 AM

        We don’t know that Peralta did it as a Nat. If he did, it was wrong.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      Um, think you mean Peralta. No one accused Carlos Pena of anything.

      Budgets have nothing to do with it. It was just one player cheating. And some “unwritten rule” that you look the other way at cheating if it’s someone on your team.

  8. natsattack - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I would have done the same, but I’m not sure how much I’m biasing here.

  9. Walk - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Brush back pitches and hbp have their place drmonkey, but this is not one of them. He appears to have gotten caught breaking the rules, but that is no reason to throw at or hit an opposing player.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      I think you are forgetting that one of the unwritten rules of the game was broken. The only proper response to that is plunking Ian Desmond.

      • ezthinking - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        Sarcasm I hope.

      • CJ - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:08 PM

        it’s in writing now. way to go. Now they have to plunk Harper instead. crap! I just did it too.

      • natstowngreg - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:13 AM

        What, did Ian Desmond steal money from you?

      • Walk - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:06 AM

        What unwritten rule? Thou shall not cheat? If thats the case maybe he should be throwing at his own players for letting him do it.

  10. steelersfan1983 - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Anyone know the amount of movement change this could cause?

  11. goskinsvt - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    lol ‘cowardly’ move to call out the opposing pitcher who is cheating against you?

    • CJ - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:10 PM

      that’s a clown question, bro. The proper response is to get hit and steal home. old school style.

  12. boh930 - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Davey: why are you going to your glove 50 times a day?

    Joel: IDK, my BFF pinetar? WU?

    Nats: Your fastball movement, that’s what’s up!

    Rays: OMG, INBD!!

    • ezthinking - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:41 PM

      Damn the facts! Johnson didn’t manage Peralta.

  13. drewsylvania - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Typical sanctimonious BS from Maddon, having Mattheus checked right afterward. The guy is developing quite the d**khead resume.

    Also–I love how Mitch Williams can defend Peralta for using pine tar by saying that pine tar doesn’t improve one’s pitching, but can be completely convinced that steroids help people hit baseballs.

    • flpunx - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      So Maddon, a 2 time Manager of the Year is a phallic cranium due to retaliating and having his players back? Yeah, that’s a quality in a manager I’d really hate to have, sticking up for your players even when you know you were in the wrong.

      All in all, I would say Maddon was quite composed last night. If you have seen what Joe can do on the field, or the things he says afterwards, this was a pretty low key altercation.

      I suppose you think it’s wrong to plunk a player on the other team after they have obviously thrown at your guy. Or that you should shake A.J. Pierzynski’s hand after he spikes you to break up a double play. Give me a break.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        Smart and sanctimonious are not mutually exclusive. Sorry you couldn’t figure that out on your own.

  14. bigleagues - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Davey comes from a time when managers calling the umps attention to such things seemed to be more common. I seem to recall managers (cough, Blly Martin) who would tell the ump to check a guys glove or hat . . . just to get in that Pitchers head.

    In any event, all you need to know about the current status of ‘substance abuse’ by pitchers is Maddon’s statement. Peralta is hardly alone.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM

      Saw Earl Weaver do something similar, though it didn’t involve illegal substances.

      At a game at Memorial Stadium, curca 1987. Mike Witt starting for the angels. Witt is warming up and Weaver comes out and starts arguing with the plate ump. Next thing you know, a trainer comes out with a pair of scissors. Turned out Witt had a white shirt under his jersey and the sleeves were showing–which is not allowed.

      Maddon played his childish little game by having Ryan Mattheus checked. As it Davey was going to put a pitcher out there with an illegal substance on him. Then Maddon whined. Davey is an adult, he’s more concerned that his team lost.

      • randomdigits - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        Must have been ’85 or ’86, Cal Sr was at the helm in ’87.

      • bigleagues - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        I remember that game and I think 85/86 is right . . . btw is now a good time to remember the greatest moment off-the-field in Earl Weaver’s legendary career?

  15. bigleagues - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Incidentally, just yesterday Fangraphs had a post on what a rising fastball looks like – using Peralta’s fastball as the ‘rising’ example.

    • lrak76 - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:29 AM


    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      PitchFX has similar vertical movement for that game compared to his season average, so just assuming in that GIF in the fangraphs link you provided Peralta is using pine tar. His vertical movement has decreased (ball is dropping less) in the last few years.

      This link shows the change in his vertical movement starting in 2010, the year he joined the Nationals, also the year he turned into a good reliever, at the age of 34. The significance of the vertical movement change would be that more backspin means less drop, and if pine tar is sticky and you get a better grip then you can get more spin. Also, the RPM on his 4-seam fastball has increased along with his vertical movement, but his MPH has slightly dropped. Usually, drops in MPH mean drops in RPM.

      Being that he was ejected before throwing a pitch, this has to be a former teammate knowing he used it in 2010.

      • bigleagues - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        Excellent job!

        Gaining more backspin was my suspicion (otherwise why have the pinetar) but I didn’t have the time to look into further.

        It will be very interesting to see what the net effect is when he comes back. i think we have potential for a rare case study on pinetar in pitching.

        I’m not sure which game it was as I flipped through games (I think it was the Angels broadcast which would make it Gubicza) but last night the analyst made an emphatic statement that pinetar has no effect on pitches – which I found rather naive if not outright stupid.

  16. nolasoxfan2012 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Has Joe Maddon lost his mind? This would be the second opposing manager he’s called a “coward” in, like, the last three weeks. Did I miss something? Are these guys in combat or playing literally for their lives? Does Joe Maddon think he is, in contrast, being “courageous” in managing the Rays? Those kinds of comments really make me think he is living in some other version of reality.

  17. rollinghighwayblues - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    After hearing his comments, I am officially tired of Joe Maddon. I cannot say that enough.

  18. kinggw - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    This seems to always happen to the Nats. I remember back in 05, Jose Guillen called out Brendan Donnelly ( a former teammate) in the same type of situation. The thing I cant get past is how Pena and Peralta act like Peralta was the victim.

  19. lrak76 - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    I am the Walrus?

    • devilray02 - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Shut the fuck up donny.

  20. randygnyc - Jun 20, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Let me get this right. Peralta got caught cheating. His teammate stuck up for him. His coach called the other manager a coward, because that other manager didn’t want to be cheated. Am I wrong about ANYTHING in this post?

  21. metsgiantsislandersknicks - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    8 year olds, Dude.

    • nolanwiffle - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      ….fuckin’ pederast.

  22. voteforno6 - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    Joe Maddon may not realize it, but Davey Johnson is smarter and crazier than him. If Maddon wants to retaliate by having the umpires check the Nats pitchers, by all means, do it. I’m sure Strasburg won’t be annoyed by that at all.

  23. indaburg - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    I’m disappointed by Maddon’s reaction. Our guy got caught cheating. He’s being rather sanctimonious for someone with no moral high ground on this issue. I would hope that if the Rays had intel about another pitcher or playing cheating, he would have them checked also. I am still a fan of Maddon’s–he has done too much good for the Rays and the Tampa Bay community as a whole–but this, I don’t like.

    • indaburg - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:54 AM

      …intel about another pitcher or playER cheating… sigh.

    • flpunx - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      Yeah – I have to say I don’t really agree with Joe’s post game statements last night basically saying I knew about it, but I was willing to look the other way. For a guy who has displayed integrity for the past 5 years in seemingly everything he has done on and off the field, this is pretty disappointing. Guess there won’t be any MOY awards heading back to St. Pete this year.

  24. 11jlacy - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    I really dont like rats , blk n gld fan.

  25. onermedboxer - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    Cheating bothers me; something like this much less than the use of PEDs, but still.
    What bothers me even more is that the Nationals (or at least a National) was fully aware that Peralta would use pine tar, and then use that knowledge against him when he is on another team. It is a way of tacitly admitting that the Nationals have also knowingly cheated in the past

    • devilray02 - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      I have got to think this wont help the Nats get relief pitchers in the future. Lots of guys use something like pine tar – see – and since bullpen guys move around a lot I have to wonder if anyone will think twice about taking a 1 year deal with the Nats. Something like this can impact the way you make a living, and if I know my former teammates are going to snitch on me if I go somewhere else I may not want to join that team in the first place.

      • voteforno6 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:41 AM

        Well, if you’re not cheating, you probably don’t need to worry about it then, do you?

    • Kevin S. - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      This should bother you way more than PEDs, since we have absolutely no evidence that they actually E your P. Foreign substances have been banned for ninety years, ever since a shiner killed a batter. Pine tar and its ilk make the ball move in unpredictable ways, and Vaseline/loogies/whatever make it harder for batters to pick up the ball. Both have a greater effect on performance that drugs that allow you to work out harder but tend to make the wrong part of your body stronger (if they impact you at all).

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