MLB announced an eight-game suspension for Rays reliever Joel Peralta, who was ejected from Tuesday night’s game after manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals alerted umpires to pine tar on his glove.
The confiscated glove was then sent to the MLB offices in New York for further examination, all while Johnson and Rays manager Joe Maddon engaged in a very public spat about the unwritten rules of baseball.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Peralta will appeal the suspension, which means he’ll be eligible to pitch in the meantime and may wind up being forced to sit out fewer than eight games when the process is complete.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com notes that then-Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly also received an eight-game suspension for having pine tar on his glove back in 2005, so Peralta’s suspension length has precedent.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?