MLB

Indians' Perez believes pine tar use is widespread

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HOUSTON (AP)

Outspoken Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez said Friday he believes there are pitchers on every team who use pine tar and other substances to manipulate the ball.

''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.

Clarifying comments he made earlier on a satellite radio show, Perez, a former Cardinal, said he wasn't specifically calling out St. Louis for doing it.

''I've only played for two teams and more guys did it on the Cardinals than here,'' he said. ''That's the only thing I was trying to say. It wasn't like an organizational thing.''

Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games on Thursday for having pine tar on his glove. The suspension came after he was ejected Tuesday night when Washington manager Davey Johnson asked the umpires to check his glove when he was warming up in the eighth inning.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was upset with Johnson's actions, saying he had inside information since Peralta pitched for the Nationals in 2010.

Perez believes the issue isn't pine tar on gloves, but rather that one of the many unwritten rules of baseball was broken when Johnson used inside information on a former player.

''I think the Rays are more mad about somebody calling them out,'' he said. ''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.''

None of the St. Louis pitchers who were with the team when Perez was there were available for comment on Friday, but a couple of pitchers who have since joined the team weighed in on the issue.

Starter Lance Lynn wasn't sure how widespread the use of pine tar is.

''You hear about guys doing it, but I've never witnessed it myself,'' he said. ''It's something you hear about around the league, one or two guys doing it.''

Fellow St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse also seemed to agree with Perez that there's an unwritten rule about not using inside information on former teammates.

''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.''

Perez says he only uses rosin, but that he's seen players use pine tar, sunscreen, rosin, dirt and a mixture of those things. He doesn't believe that pine tar changes the pitches, but rather simply helps with gripping the ball.

''I use just rosin and it can get just as sticky as pine tar and if they checked me some games, there would be nothing in my glove, but my fingers would stick together because rosin with sweat and dirt is sticky,'' Perez said. ''That's why it's out there is to help us.''

Perez isn't one to hold his tongue, and called out Indians fans for lack of support in May and was fined by the league earlier in the season for a tweet after a series with the Royals in Kansas City. He also riled up Kansas City outfielder Jarrod Dyson recently with a hand gesture he made after striking him out.

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AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta contributed to this report from St. Louis.

Tagged: Indians, Cardinals, Rays, Chris Perez

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