Peralta suspended 8 games for pine tar, he appeals

Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games by

Major League Baseball on Thursday for having pine tar on his

glove.

Peralta has appealed, and can continue to play until the process

is complete. The Rays were at Washington on Thursday night.

Peralta was ejected from Tuesday night’s game in Washington

after umpires found pine tar on his mitt.

The incident led to a verbal spat between managers Joe Maddon of

the Rays and Davey Johnson of the Nationals.

”I just know that we’re appealing right now so I’ve got to sit

tight and see,” Peralta said.

”I’m allowed to pitch today and that’s all I care about right

now.”

Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals during the 2010 season,

said his former teammates approached him before Wednesday’s game

and were supportive. He didn’t suspect that they turned him in.

”I knew it wasn’t them,” Peralta said. ”I knew when they did

it was not coming from the players. That made me feel good. I know

they like me.”

He said he didn’t know Johnson.

”I don’t know why he did it,” Peralta said. ”I would like to

know, but I’m not gonna ask that.”

Maddon feels the suspension is excessive.

”Of course it’s too much, and of course it’s unfair, but that’s

the way they came down with it and it’s gonna be up to them to try

and manipulate it,” Maddon said.

Johnson declined to comment on the suspension on Thursday

afternoon.

Peralta hopes to get the suspension reduced.

”First time it’s ever happened to me. I don’t know what to

think. I don’t know what to expect,” Peralta said.

”It feels a little relief to know at least what it’s gonna

be.”

After Tuesday’s game, Maddon denounced Johnson’s actions as

cowardly, bush and bogus.

Johnson retorted that Maddon should ”read the rule book” and

that he was ”a weird wuss.”

During the 1988 National League championship series, Los Angeles

Dodgers reliever Jay Howell was suspended for three games after

being caught with pine tar on his glove. The suspension was reduced

by a game by appeal. In that series, Johnson was the manager of the

Dodgers’ opponent, the New York Mets.