No, not this time, but Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta tried to put pine tar on the ball when he took the mound Tuesday night to relieve David Price. The incident occurred before the bottom of the eighth inning when Nationals Manager Davey Johnson dropped a hint to the home plate umpire that Peralta was trying to pull an Eddie Harris. After taking his glove into the clubhouse for closer examination, it was determined that he had pine tar inside his glove.
As everyone’s favorite crafty, over-the-hill veteran pitcher for the Tribe taught us, “I haven’t got an arm like you, kid. I have to put anything on it I can find. Someday you will too.” For those unaware, a substance like pine tar can give a pitcher a little more grip on the ball, making it easier to spin it. Unfortunately for Peralta, it’s also against the rules and carries a mandatory 10-game suspension. Rays Manager Joe Maddon wasn’t too pleased with Davey Johnson’s inquiry, and he let it be known. The following inning Maddon requested that the umpire crew examine the glove of Nationals pitcher Ryan Mattheus in a game of cat and mouse. He was clean.
Other foreign substances known to give pitchers like Eddie Harris and Joel Peralta “another two to three inches drop on your curveball” include Crisco, Bardoll, and Vagisil.