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June 19, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Joel Peralta Ejected For Pine Tar

by R.J. Anderson

Joel Peralta entered tonight’s Rays-Nationals game with his usual assignment: Get the next three outs, keep the lead, and hand the ball over to Fernando Rodney. After Peralta finished warming up, the umpires would swarm the mound with a request to see his glove. Peralta complied, and would shortly thereafter head to the clubhouse gloveless and ejected, but not before tugging at his cap while facing the Nationals bench. The umpires had found what they deemed to be a significant amount of pine tar on Peralta’s glove.

After the game, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that multiple members of the team had informed him about Peralta’s fondness for pine tar. On Twitter, former big-league pitcher Eric Knott pointed out that Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr served as Peralta’s bullpen coach in Washington. In a similar vein, Washington first base coach Trent Jewett managed Peralta in the minor leagues for a time in 2010. 
 
Rays manager Joe Maddon partook in gamesmanship of his own by having Nationals pitcher Ryan Mattheus’ glove examined after he had recorded the first two outs of the ninth inning. 
 
Peralta is going to be suspended. History suggests he will miss more than a week of action once the league hands down its punishment. Consider the case of Julian Tavarez who, in 2004, was caught with pine tar on his hat. Tavarez would be suspended for eight days. This isn’t the first time Maddon has seen a reliever on his club tossed due to pine tar, either. In 2005, Brendan Donnelly, then of the Angels, missed 10 days after umpires checked his glove and found pine tar. Oddly, that incident, like Peralta’s, came against the Nationals. 
 
Those examples and others are in The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball, Derek Zumsteg’s invaluable reference for any baseball fan interested in the shadier side of the game. 

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

5 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Randy Brown
(189)

What is bizarre is that both Donnelly and Peralta were caught pine-handed in interleague play. It would seem more likely that they would be caught by a division rival who is presumably more familiar with their opponent.

Jun 19, 2012 20:40 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

The two things I find funny:

#1 He gets caught with pinetar and misses a few games. Others have a trace of PEDs and get 50 games.

#2 Peralta must've really upset some people in the Nationals' clubhouse for all these players to break the unwritten clubhouse rules and rat out a player to the umpires.

Jun 19, 2012 22:15 PM
rating: 2
 
tomterp

The Donnelly incident was fueled by Jose Guillen's contempt for his former club, and featured bench clearing discussions and a dramatic 2 run homer later by Guillen. As I recall Guillen said later he believed Donnelly had a file in his glove, though only pine tar was found. As the protest was being made by manager Frank Robinson, Donnelly paid a quick visit to the 2nd baseman, and if he had a file he had a brief window to pass it off.

Last night's affair was tame by comparison.

Jun 20, 2012 09:00 AM
rating: 2
 
tomterp

A couple of additional observations regarding common threads between the Donnelly ejection in 2005 and last night's game - The umpire in both contests was Tim Tschida, and the final pitcher for the Angels in 2005, throwing 2/3 of an inning, was Joel Peralta.

Jun 20, 2012 12:06 PM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member R.J. Anderson
BP staff

Oh wow. Great catches.

Jun 20, 2012 14:45 PM
 
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