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2 posts from May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013

REDMOND: Joe West Saw Sanabia Spit, Nothing Happened

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday that he didn't see pitcher Alex Sanabia spit on a baseball on Monday night -- but first base umpire Joe West did.

According to Redmond, West didn't say anything but tossed that ball out of play.

Redmond doesn't expect anything to happen to Sanabia since West didn't even mention it.

Sanabia declined all interview requests on Tuesday.

Video captured from Monday's Philadelphia broadcast briefly showed Sanabia spitting on a new baseball tossed to him moments after Domonic Brown deposited the previous one in the sparsely-filled right field seats.

Sanabia was seen vigorously rubbing down the ball as Brown rounded the bases, with one teammate joking "it was bone dry" afterward anyway.

Redmond said he didn't realize anything out of the ordinary -- and I'm not sure this is anything but ordinary save for it being caught on video -- until he saw the video later on.

"At the time it didn't make sense, but now it kind of does,'' Redmond said of West tossing the ball after the homer.

"Joe made him throw that ball out. I was wondering why. He must have seen him. I don't think [Sanabia spitting] was intentional. He rubbed the ball and I think he did it without knowing. Joe saw it and threw the ball out.''

-- Redmond said Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) would take live BP on Wednesday and begin "functional running.''

Stanton has been taking batting practice in the cage. "He's cleared to hit,'' Redmond said.

Logan Morrison made his first start of his rehabilitation from knee surgery on Monday and went 2-for-5 for Single-A Jupiter.

Redmond said Morrison would be the designated hitter for the Hammerheads on Tuesday before playing first base on Wednesday. Redmond is expected to be back in the coming weeks.


REDMOND: Joe West Saw Sanabia Spit, Nothing Happened

Did Alex Sanabia spit on baseball?

     Did Alex Sanabia slobber all over the baseball last night after giving up a home run to the Phillies' Domonic Brown? Based on the video from the Phillies broadcast (click here to watch it), it sure looks like it.

     The video appears to show Sanabia spitting on the ball (about the 15 second mark on the video), then rubbing it with his hands after Brown's second-inning homer. Umpires obviously didn't notice it. Otherwise, they likely would have asked for the ball and warned the pitcher -- at the minimum.

Sanabia

     (Here's the applicable rule: 8.02 (a) (2) The pitcher shall not expectorate on the ball, either hand or glove.)

     According to MLB, the rule "gives the umpire the discretion to either eject the pitcher immediately if he thinks he is attempting to alter the characteristics of a pitched ball or warn the pitcher against doing this if he does not see any intent to do anything sinister with the baseball."

     According to a source I spoke with, crew chief and first base umpire Joe West was apparently alert to Sanabia and eyeballing him with extra scrutiny throughout Monday's game.

     "He was staring holes through him," the source said of West.

     The source said that, at one point in the sixth inning, West became suspicious and ordered Sanabia to throw out a ball he was holding. Sanabia obliged and tossed it into the Marlins dugout before being given a replacement.

     While Sanabia ended a five-game losing streak with the victory, it wasn't like his pitches were dancing and weaving all over the place, fooling the Phillies hitters. He struck out only two batters of the remaining 15 he retired.

     Since Sanabia's alleged spitting episode went undetected by the media, he wasn't asked about it after the game. You can bet he'll be asked to talk about it when the clubhouse opens this afternoon.