Cheating, Joel Peralta

Pine Tar Discussion Moves Beyond the Boundaries of Washington

It’s one thing to listen to voices outside the clubhouse maintain or refute the propriety of Davey Johnson’s decision to have Rays reliever Joel Perralta ejected from a game last week because he had pine tar on his glove.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon publicly questioned the wisdom of the move, but his is obviously a biased opinion. Now we have some clarity from an unaffiliated source: Cleveland closer Chris Perez.

“If before every game if they stopped and checked everybody’s gloves or something there would be one or two guys on every team that would just get popped,” he said in an Associated Press report.

Which is exactly the point. Washington’s No. 4 starter, Edwin Jackson, spent three seasons in Tampa Bay under Maddon. Does he have any secrets Maddon might be able to exploit? Jonny Gomes was a member of the Nationals last season, but spent six years prior to that with the Rays. If he has any dirt on Washington, he could well have passed it along to his friends in Tampa. Would it be appropriate for Maddon to use this information punitively?

Of course not.

“It’s probably sticking in their craw a little bit,” said an anonymous former manager and executive in the Washington Post. “They love the guy. He pitched on short rest for the Nationals. They grew to respect him. Then the plug gets pulled on him

“I think the Rays are more mad about somebody calling them out,” said Perez. “It had to be somebody that knew—that used to play with them. I have old teammates that I could tell (manager) Manny (Acta) to call out, but I’m not going to. It’s not bush league, but it’s still not on the up and up.”

Perez clarified that he was not speaking specifically about the habits of any of his former Cardinals teammates, who were nonetheless quizzed in the AP story. The most outspoken of them was Kyle Lohse, who mirrored Perez’s opinions. “If you’re going to start throwing guys under the bus, then you’d better be sure there’s nobody on your own team doing it,” he said. “That’s all I have to say.”

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