Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays Tales: "Cheating" incidents in Tampa Bay Rays history

Given last week's sticky situation with pine tar found inside RHP Joel Peralta's glove, the Rays, in their 15 seasons, have now been a part of three of the game's more infamous incidents of on-field "cheating."

May 1999

Detroit pitcher Brian Moehler is caught with a small piece of sandpaper attached to his left thumb after the Devil Rays note unusual movement on his pitches and manager Larry Rothschild asked the umpires to check him.

Suspension: 10 days

Key comment: Detroit manager Larry Parrish calls the Tampa Bay complaints "bootleg" and says: "There's not a pitching staff in baseball that doesn't have a guy who defaces the ball. … If the umpires want to check things like that, I think half to three-quarters of the league would be suspended, including some Tampa Bay Devil Rays."

June 2003

Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa's bat splits vertically after a groundout against Devil Rays pitcher Jeremi Gonzalez, and the umpires notice — after Devil Rays catcher Toby Hall casually points it out — a half-dollar-sized piece of cork notched into the bat.

Suspension: 8 games (reduced on appeal to 7)

Key comment: Sosa said the bat in question was one he used to "put on a show for the fans" during batting practice and wasn't intended for game use. "I just picked the wrong bat," he said. "It's something that I take the blame for. It's a mistake. I know that. I feel sorry. I just apologize to everybody that is embarrassed."

June 2012

Joel Peralta is found to have "a substantial amount" of pine tar inside his glove after Nationals manager Davey Johnson, admittedly acting on inside information, asks the umpires to check.

Suspension: 8 games

Key comment: Rays manager Joe Maddon tried valiantly to flip the script and blame the Nats for "underhanded" tactics and said it's "common practice" for pitchers to use pine tar. "Go ask their players what they think about all this," he said. "Go ask every team … what they think about this and how it came down and what they believe would be the right way to go about that."

Rays rumblings

The Trop was third on Jim Caple's list of the 10 worst all-time big-league ballparks, behind Montreal's Olympic Stadium and Seattle's Kingdome, and seeded 30th for an online voting battle of current parks. … Of all that was said in Washington last week, the oddest exchange was hearing 69-year-old Davey Johnson call Joe Maddon "a weird wuss." … Ex-Ray Carl Crawford is on track to make his season debut for Boston on July 13 at the Trop. … Four of the players acquired from the Cubs in the January 2011 Matt Garza trade have now made it to the majors: OFs Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer, C Robinson Chirinos and RHP Chris Archer, with SS Hak-Ju Lee still to come. … Former Rays All-Star LHP Scott Kazmir, with only one big-league appearance since Sept. 2010, has been reduced to trying a comeback with the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League, but he's still only 28. … About 15 Japanese journalists (newspaper, wire service, TV) are traveling with the Rays covering Hideki Matsui.

Got a minute? Sean Rodriguez

Something you're scared of? Alligators.

Favorite TV show of all time? The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

If you had to, go-to karaoke song? It would depend on the crowd. I would definitely lean toward something hip-hop, maybe off The Chronic, by (Dr.) Dre.

Late-night snack? Ritz crackers, sometimes with Nutella.

Celebrity crush? Jessica Biel — she's about to get married though.

Suspended animation

RHP Joel Peralta's eight-game suspension is the longest for an onfield issue in Rays history. Here, per MLB records, is the full list:

8 games

• RHP Joel Peralta, June 2012, foreign substance on glove

7 games

• LHP Joe Kennedy, June '02, throwing at hitter

6 games

• RHP James Shields, June ’08, fighting, escalating incident

5 games

• OF Gerald Williams, Aug. '00, charging mound, inciting brawl

• Mgr. Lou Piniella, April '05, inappropriate actions

• RHP Dewon Brazelton, April '05, aggressive actions

• RHP Lance Carter, April '05, throwing at hitter

• OF Jonny Gomes, June '08, fighting, escalating incident

• RHP Edwin Jackson, June '08, fighting, escalating incident

• OF Carl Crawford, June '08, fighting

• INF Akinori Iwamura, June '08, fighting

3 games

• RHP Dave Eiland, Aug. '00, throwing at hitter

• RHP Tony Fiore, Aug. '00, throwing at hitter

• RHP Cory Lidle, Aug. '00, throwing at hitter

• Mgr. Larry Rothschild, Aug. '00, failing to pre-empt action, inappropriate comments

• LHP Nick Bierbrodt, April '03, throwing at hitter

• INF Marlon Anderson, June '03, fighting, inciting

• OF Carl Crawford, June '03, fighting

• Coach John McLaren, Aug. '05, inappropriate actions

• Coach Mike Butcher, Sept. '06, inappropriate actions

2 games

• Mgr. Larry Rothschild, July '00, arguing, contact with umpire

• OF Carl Crawford, Sept. ’07, inappropriate actions

• OF Jonny Gomes, March '08, violent actions, escalating incident

• C Dioner Navarro, April '10, inappropriate actions

• OF B.J. Upton, May '11, onfield incident

1 game

• INF Bobby Smith, July ’00, fighting

• Mgr. Lou Piniella, April '03, actions of pitcher

• Coach John McLaren, Aug. ’03, yelling at umpire

Rays Tales: "Cheating" incidents in Tampa Bay Rays history 06/23/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 23, 2012 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108