In a season already filled with rare pitching feats, Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta may have managed the least likely trick of them all: He was ejected from a game without throwing a single pitch.
With the Rays protecting a 5-4 lead in a game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night, Peralta was called in from the bullpen for the eighth inning. While he was warming up, Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked the umpires to check Peralta's glove.
The umps, along with Rays manager Joe Maddon, convened at the mound. Peralta's glove was examined and then confiscated. The 36-year-old right-hander was then ejected due a foreign substance on the leather.
Mike Fiammetta of MLB.com reported after the game that the substance was pine tar.
"It was a significant amount of pine tar," crew chief Tschida said. "Inside [the glove], where the hand goes inside."
Adding intrigue to the story is the fact that Peralta pitched for the Nationals during the 2010 season. When asked by reporters after the game how he knew to have umpires check the glove, Johnson made it pretty clear that he had some inside information.
"Well... he pitched here," Johnson said, per Federal Baseball. "I don't think it's a secret."
After the game, Maddon was very displeased about the gamesmanship by Johnson and the Nationals, going as far as to call the move "cowardly," according to ESPN.com
"Insider trading, man. It's bush," Maddon told reporters after his team closed out the win without Peralta. "It's bogus. That's way too easy, right there."