Peralta drops appeal, begins suspension

Rays' Peralta drops appeal, begins suspension

PHILADELPHIA -- Joel Peralta dropped his appeal one day after Major League Baseball suspended the Rays reliever for eight games for having a "significant amount" of pine tar on the inside of his glove.

Peralta will begin serving his suspension Friday night, when the Rays open a three-game series at Philadelphia.

"They just told me it's going to start today, so I will get back for the Detroit series and the Yankees series," Peralta said. "They think it's more important for me to face them than here."

Rays manager Joe Maddon clarified the Rays' thinking by saying, "It's not based on the competition, it's based on the group within the competition. The matchup kind of stuff, what the potential matchups might be against those teams vs. these teams."

Peralta said he was fine with the decision.

"I'm going to do whatever the team wants me to do," Peralta said. "I'm not even going to ask any questions. They want me to do that, then that's the way it's going down. I'm OK with it."

Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team studied other cases similar to Peralta's and figured he would not be able to reduce the number of games he was suspended by appealing. Friedman went on to say he got a sense that Peralta wanted to put the matter behind him. Had Peralta's case gone through the process toward the appeal, his appeal would have been heard on Monday.

The right-hander was ejected from Tuesday's game against Washington after the umpiring crew inspected his glove following a request from the Nationals' dugout. The league administered Peralta's punishment on Thursday, and he initially planned to appeal the ruling.

According to Official Rule 8.02(a)(2) of the MLB rulebook, "the pitcher shall not have expectorate on the ball, either hand or his glove." The penalty for violating the rule is automatic ejection and in Peralta's case, an eight-game suspension.

The incident sparked a war of words between the managers on each side. Maddon contended that Nationals manager Davey Johnson didn't see the pine tar -- rather, someone within the Washington organization told him about Peralta's glove. Peralta appeared in 39 games for the Nationals in 2010.

That prompted Maddon, in his defense of his pitcher, to accuse Johnson of being "cowardly," and Johnson to fire back by calling Maddon "a weird wuss."

Peralta, 0-3 with a 4.20 ERA and two saves in 37 appearances in his second season with Tampa Bay, maintained on Tuesday night that the glove in question is one he uses for batting practice. Often applied while in the on-deck circle, pine tar helps hitters better grip a bat.

Peralta said he will likely remain with the team and work out prior to the games, though he will not be allowed to be in uniform during the games.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.