Monday evening I tweeted:
I’m hoping there is a bombshell in MLB tonight or tomorrow that will eclipse today’s Clemens news. Don’t want to read any more reactions.
Because I really just didn’t want to read or hear any more “I’m happy for Roger…this is great for baseball” comments. Well, I didn’t get that bombshell before last night’s games but I sure got it later on.
While I was watching the Red Sox game and catching up on Twitter, someone noted that the umpires in the Nationals/Rays game had gone to the mound to check out Joel Peralta’s glove. I switched to the Nats/Rays game in time to see umpires walking off the mound with Peralta’s glove, leaving the pitcher, his manager and a few teammates standing befuddled on the mound.
As everyone probably knows by now, before he even threw a pitch Peralta was ejected from the game and most likely is facing a 10-game suspension because the umpires found “a significant amount of pine tar on his glove It was a bit surreal to watch given he hadn’t thrown a pitch but immediately the media reminded us that Peralta pitched for the Nationals in 2010. So it seemed someone remembered Peralta’s penchant for pine tar and thus the request to check his glove was made as soon as he came into the game.
Predictably, once again, Joe Maddon is treating this like a personal affront. His most colorful comment on the incident reportedly was to call Nats manager Davey Johnson’s request to check the glove a ‘pussy move’. He also said it was ‘bogus’ and seems to think that using ‘insider information’ on an opponent is not the gentlemanly way to play the game of baseball.
I should not be surprised that Joe Maddon would turn one of his players cheating into an offense by the opposing team. I shouldn’t. This is the guy who has a history of not taking any blame for things he or his team should clearly take responsibility for. So it’s odd that I was genuinely surprised to read that Maddon not only defended Peralta (which is to be expected) but that he’s blaming all of this NOT on his player cheating but on Davey Johnson breaking some sacred bond he should have with Peralta because they both have had the same boss.
Blows my freaking mind.
I mean, really? REALLY?
Joe called what Johnson did “cowardly” and reminded folks that it’s the second time this season he’s used the word (the first time was against the Red Sox for throwing at Luke Scott). See, I’m good with the manager defending his player, even when his player is in the wrong; it’s what you do. But to throw it back on the opposing team for pointing out that your player is cheating? Does Maddon really think opposing teams should just let the Rays do whatever the heck they want? What would make anyone think that?
I’m probably rambling now because I’m so damn annoyed.
Peralta didn’t have much to say. He had a snide remark about the Nats still losing in spite of him getting booted and then explained his glove by saying it’s his batting practice glove…as if that makes a difference. (Was he being funny? Sammy Sosa used the “it’s my batting practice bat” excuse when they found his corked bat. Hat tip to Sammy?)
The bottom line is Peralta did something he wasn’t supposed to do…and the fact that the Nats knew he was doing it kind of proves that it wasn’t some odd mistake that only occurred in this one game…and then got caught. But Joe Maddon wants you to think the bottom line is that DAVEY JOHNSON did something you aren’t supposed to do. Joe Maddon is turning into someone I don’t like. Even if you don’t want to take responsibility for what you or someone on your team has done it’s immature and really just bad form to try and blame others for it. You are whiney; Joe, and you embarrass yourself and your team every time you start up something like this. Cheating is bad for baseball…pointing out that cheating isn’t. (Joe’s real defense seems to be that ‘everyone does it’. I never thought we’d have to ask a 58-year-old man (He’s only 58? Wow, I thought he was older.) ”If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?” but I guess we do.
When you decide to cheat you know that in doing so you open yourself up to the possibility of getting caught and getting penalized for it. Peralta’s glove was messed up, he got caught and he’ll most likely be suspended for it. This is the natural order of things.
For crying out loud, you don’t blame the person who gets mugged for pointing out the mugger to the police!
Ultimately, I’m not sure I even think this is that big a deal. A pitcher got caught with a marked up glove, they got it and he’ll be punished in some way. Should be the end of the story (ESPECIALLY since the pitcher’s team still won the game) but Maddon seems to want the world to look upon him and his team as the poor, red-headed stepchildren of MLB…always getting picked on for no good reason.
Cheating, Joe, cheating is a good reason. And there isn’t a manager in the league who, armed with the same information the Nats had, wouldn’t have done the same thing Davey Johnson did…including you. And if you DID have that info and decided not to use it, you’d be doing a tremendous disservice to your team and your fans.
I’m beginning to think that the oxygen is pretty thin up at the top of Joe’s high horse.