WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Home plate umpire Tim Tschida talks with Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon #70 about the glove of Joel Peralta #62 during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. A foreign substance was found on the glove which led to Peralta being ejected from the game. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
"I promise you one thing," Joe Maddon told reporters after last night's game which saw reliever Joel Peralta ejected for having a foreign substance on or in his glove, "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 really a reaction to the entire event I would go talk to the Nationals players and see what they think." Asked what he thought the Nationals players would have to say, the Tampa Bay Rays' manager explained, "I would bet, I don't know this, but I would bet that they are not very pleased with what went on tonight, because, again, it's kind of a common practice that people have done this for years and to point one guy out because he had pitched there a couple of years ago, there's probably some common knowledge based on that and so I thought it was a real cowardly... and I've used that word twice this year, I guess, so, it was kind of a [expletive deleted] move. To go out there and do that under those circumstances, I like the word [expletive deleted] move right there."
The Nationals' GM didn't exactly agree with those sentiments when he was asked about the incident in an interview this morning. "If Davey [Johnson] or somebody in the dugout knew that there was a foreign substance on the glove and it was assisting the pitcher and they didn't call him out then they'd have a problem with me," Nats' General Manager Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in DC's Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on this week's edition of "The Mike Rizzo Show." "Because we're trying to win games too and if you're doing something that's not according to the rules and it gives you an unfair advantage, you should be called on it."
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"We knew Joel [Peralta] because he was with us before and we felt that that was the case," the Nats' GM explained, "Davey called him out and he happened to be right, so that's the gamesmanship of managing in the big leagues and we're trying to win too and if that's what it takes for them to perform and they get caught with it, [then] so be it."
The general manager did say that he was unaware of the possibility of the Nationals calling their former reliever out, telling the hosts simply, "I was not aware of it, no."
But the Nats' GM did explain that what Peralta was doing was not exactly a secret. "He was on the record, I'll put it this way, he didn't make it much of a secret that he used a substance. And he was a guy that was known by... our coaching staff had all these players as minor leaguers throughout our system and it was known, it was felt by our staff and like I said, this is something that we like to have a level playing field and we felt that it wasn't and we called him on it. They could have easily checked the glove and he didn't have it and this would have been all forgotten, but he did and the umpire thought it was enough to confiscate the glove and eject him from the ballgame."
Asked if he feared any retaliation, like say a purpose pitch to one of his hitters like Bryce Harper, the Nationals' general manager said, "I don't think so," explaining that he had history with the Rays' skipper and knew him well. "That's not Joe's style. Joe is a terrific baseball guy. He understands how these things are policed and I do not fear any retaliation." The Nationals and Rays play the second game of the two teams' three-game set in D.C. tonight at 7:05 pm EDT.