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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rival Rip: Maddon's Argument Deserves Loss of Respect




Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon (Photo credit: Keith Allison)
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon and Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson have become the center of a war of words since the latter called out the former's relief pitch, Joel Peralta, for using pine tar to alter the baseball.

Even as a division rival, I've always respected Maddon for the way he's carried a measly payroll to a competitive ball club in the AL East, but his argument that Johnson's methods were "cowardly" and "bush" is just plain nonsense.

Call it "insider trading" if you'd like, and it was just that. Peralta played for the Nats and one of his former teammates blew the whistle on his cheating ways. The keyword there though, is "former". The reliever is no longer a member of Washington's roster, therefore he is the enemy, if just for this one series.

Call it cowardly and question the way Washington's skipper went about it, but the fact remains, Joel Peralta used pine tar in an inappropriate manor, which is an unfair advantage. If you're a team competing for the top spot in your division, having a disadvantage is going to anger you. That's just the way it is, if a team is working hard to win they don't wanna be taken advantage of by a reliever.

All of this has changed my perception of Maddon from a respectable, old school manager to a guy that didn't have control of his pitcher--or did and said nothing--and is using a bogus argument to deflect the facts of the situation away from him and the organization.

We have heard more about the comments he's throwing around than the real issue that a member of the Tampa Bay Rays cheated and has been since way back in '05 when he played with the Nationals. Using pine tar isn't exactly equivalent to juicing, but it's banned from the game for a reason, it gives the pitcher an advantage.

Maddon says many use pine tar, which may be true. If it is and they get caught, suspend them, but don't sit at the press conference and call out the other team for bringing it to the surface. That's bush and cowardly. Man up and take the consequences.



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