The eighth inning turned wild Tuesday night when Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked home plate umpire Tim Tschida to check on the glove of Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta. Peralta’s glove was found to have a “significant amount” of pine tar on it, according to Tschida, and Peralta now faces an automatic suspension of an undetermined length.
You can read about the whole incident right here, but I wanted to pass along some of the straight quotes from the post-game as well to get a feel for how heated this thing got, particularly on the Rays’ side.
Here is Rays manager Joe Maddon:
On what he was told: “That he had pine tar on his glove and that was why they took the glove off his hand and they brought it into the dugout.”
“I promise you one thing: You’re going to see brand new gloves throughout the major leagues starting tomorrow with pitchers on every particular major league ballclub. And furthermore if you want a reaction to the entire event, I would go talk to the Nationals’ players and see what they think. I would bet, I don’t know this, but I would bet they are not very pleased with what went on tonight.
“It’s kind of a common practice that people have done for years and to point to one guy because he had pitched here a couple years ago, there probably was some common knowledge based on that, and so I thought that was a real cowardly (move). It was kind of a (wussy) move to go out there and do that under those circumstances. I like the world (wussy) move right there.”
On how the pine tar could have gotten there: “You use it on bats all the time hitters are able to use it when they go up to home plate. I’m sure there are times when balls are thrown around the infield and it could come back a little more sticky than before. It just happens. To single out Joel Peralta tonight and make him look like a bad guy or a villian of any kind, that’s what upsets me. That this is all going to lay on Joel and I dont like that at all.”
On if he had an excessive amount of pine tar or not: “There was pine tar on his glove. I can’t tell you if it was more it was less. There was. I can’t deny that it was there.”
On if it was accidental: “I didnt say that. I said it was in his glove, and furthermore just take a poll among pitchrers and players and see what they think about what happened tonight…
“To single out Joel Peralta tonight, that is my concern, is that Joel does not get villified because this guy has doen a great job. He’s been an excellent relief pitcher and to in any way tarnish what hes done to this point, because there’s goign to be suggestions made based on what happened tonight, I think thats wrong and inappropriate because its been a common practice for many, many years.”
On if Peralta was not cheating, then: “I didnt say that. Joel is using pine tar. He had pine tar in his glove. I’m saying that to just suggest that hes the only one who’s doing it is inappropriate.”
On what he thought about Davey Johnson’s involvement: “Before you start throwing rocks, understand where you live.”
Now here is Nationals manager Davey Johnson:
On if someone in his dugout alerted him to Peralta’s pine tar: “No… there’s been some chirping about pine tar. This wasn’t the first one I did… Now with the black gloves and black hats, it’s a little harder to detect. Especially if somebody has been known to use a foreign substance on their glove or their hat. A nice hot night is the time to use it. So I asked them to check. Obviously he had it.”
On if he noticed it or if someone alerted him: “No, I mean, like I say, it was a rumor that he liked a little pine tar. So I was hesitant to do it and Tim (Tschida) was looking at me kind of grinning he said ‘Oh, what do you want?’ So I walked out and said, ‘Well, I want you to check him. Just to make sure. I’m curious.’”
On where that rumor comes from: “Well, he pitched here. I don’t think it’s a secret.”
On if that meant someone in the Nationals organization had an idea he was doing this: “Yeah, I didn’t just make it up or dream it up. But I mean, there was conversations before the game. He was out there and I was talking to some of the guys and I said ‘How’d we let this guy get away?’ I thought he pitched pretty good for us and I saw he’s been a kind of invaluable set-up man for Tampa Bay. One thing led to another and I got probably more information than I really needed. I don’t know. The left-hander put us down 1-2-3 so it was probably a bad move.”
On if he was offended by Maddon’s check of Mattheus: “No, it’s fine. They get one check and then it’s over so (Tschida) said, there won’t be any more checks. I was thankful of that because then we’d do that every inning. He’d have to go out and I’d have to go out, he’d have to go out and I’d have to go out.
On if this will carry over into the remaining games in the series: “No. I mean it’s hard enough to hit. I mean I’ve had ‘em check when a guy would cut it loose and it looked like half his mouth came to home plate. Now that they’re checking ‘em. They didn’t use to check ‘em when I played. But it didn’t help much (tonight).”
And here is Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus:
On if he was nervous when he got checked: “No, no, I knew I was clean. When I seen him coming, I figured that’s what was going to go on, so I just had it out there for him to see. He said, ‘You’re clean,’ as soon as he seen it.”
On if he was offended they essentially accused him of cheating: “Oh, I’m not going to take it personal. It’s gamesmanship. We did it to them. I’m sure they wanted to make sure that we weren’t at an unfair advantage with something sticky in our gloves and stuff like that. I didn’t take it as an insult at all.”
On if he expected to be checked: “Yeah, I figured it was going to come. I thought it would come sooner than it came with two outs. I don’t know why they waited that long, but I figured it was coming.”
On if he’s offended another pitcher would use pine tar to get an edge: “It’s not offensive to me. That’s his own choice. He chooses to put something on the ball, then I’m sure there’s consequences that come with that. I don’t take it offensively. I don’t think he was doing anything personal to us as people. I’m sure he’ll serve consequences, and we’ll see what those are.”
On Peralta: “Well, I don’t know exactly what he puts in his glove or what they found or what he uses. As far as I know Joel, I played with Joel in 2009 with the Rockies and he’s a great, great guy. Standup guy. I don’t think he’s out there cheating trying to get over on us or anything like that. But it’s unfortunate.”
On if this is something commong: “I don’t want to say I see it a lot. I think it goes on. I think it’s guys’ own choice. It’s not really something that I’ve ever heard guys come out and say, ‘Hey, look at all the pine tar I’ve got in my glove.’ So, if they’re doing it, they’re probably keeping it to themselves. It’s unfortunate that it happened.”