Opinion

Pine tar on Sal Perez’s catching gear no big deal for both managers

It appeared Royals catcher Sal Perez (left) had pine tar on his gear to help him improve his grip when throwing the ball.
It appeared Royals catcher Sal Perez (left) had pine tar on his gear to help him improve his grip when throwing the ball. jledford@kcstar.com

Royals catcher Salvador Perez was rubbing his fingers on a brown substance that appeared to be pine tar on his catching gear during Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. That much was apparent from screengrabs and short video clips of the game broadcast posted on social media.

But Royals manager Ned Yost reaffirmed Wednesday, as he did after Game 1, that it’s legal for a catcher — not a pitcher — to use pine tar. And Mets manager Terry Collins has no problem with a catcher getting an extra grip on the ball.

“They’ve got to get a grip, too, especially on cold and damp nights. They need a grip on the baseball, so they use pine tar for themselves,” Collins said before Game 2 on Wednesday night.

“You know what, it’s so obvious, the umpires see it, too. And if it’s that obvious they would do something about it. But because it’s only really concerned with the pitchers, and I don’t think there’s really enough to put on there that you can wipe it on and throw the ball back to the pitcher to where it’s going to affect how the pitcher throws the baseball.”

Yost was more blunt when asked if he was surprised the issue was raised.

“They look for any stupid thing to bring up,” he said. “It’s not illegal for a catcher to get an extra grip. A pitcher is illegal. But Sal is not putting anything on the ball for the pitcher. He uses it for his own, he just taps it lightly so that he gets a better grip when he throws, which is completely legal.”

Chris Fickett: 816-234-4354, @ChrisFickett

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