Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected from Tuesday night's game against the Washington Nationals without throwing a pitch for having pine tar in his glove.
A "significant amount" of the substance was found after Washington manager Davey Johnson specifically requested that home plate umpire Tim Tschida check Peralta's glove, The Washington Post reported.
Rays manager Joe Maddon blasted Johnson's challenge as "cowardly," saying the Nationals broke an unwritten rule of baseball.
"From a real veteran staff on the other side, knowing how this thing works and how it's worked for many, many years, you can go back to spitball pitchers to greaseball pitchers to whatever kind of pitchers to scuffball pitchers, this is just how the game has been played for 100 years, more than that," Maddon said. "So to single out Joel Peralta tonight [Tuesday], that's my concern."
Johnson said he had made similar challenges before and explained that when the weather is hot and a player is known for using foreign substances, that is the time to check.
He said his own players had told him before the game that Peralta -- a former Nationals player -- liked to use pine tar.
"It was a rumor that he liked a little pine tar," Johnson said. "I was hesitant to do it. [Tschida] was looking at me kind of grinning. He said, 'What do you want?' I walked out and said, 'Why don't you check it, just to make sure. I'm curious.'"
Peralta said he was not doing it to gain a competitive advantage and was not sure whether he would be suspended.
"I don't know if they're going to do anything about it," he said. "I hope not. It's not like I'm using pine tar my whole career."
The Rays still went on to win the game, 5-4.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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