As first reported by MLB.com, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon told home-plate umpire Tom Hallion after the second inning that he believed Blanton had pine tar on his hat.
After the game, Maddon addressed the issue with the media. Asked if he noticed a dark spot on Blanton's cap, Maddon said: "We did notice, it was rather dark. I did bring it to their [umpires'] attention. I asked them to just watch it and be vigilant about it, and nothing happened. But I was concerned about it early on."
Hallion replied to Maddon that he would check the baseball, and if he found a foreign substance on the ball, MLB.com reported, he would act on it.
Later last night, MLB.com removed the story from its Web site. Geoff Grant, the managing editor of MLB.com said the story was removed because it was obtained "prematurely" by viewing a feed from Fox, which broadcast the game. Grant said that MLB.com would post a new story after the game that would include more reporting and quotes.
"It's nothing," Blanton said after the game. "They rubbed balls up with whatever they rub them with. I'm contantly trying to get moisture. It's nothing sticky." Blanton then said of his cap, "Anybody can go touch it. It's just dirt from the ball."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn't aware of what Maddon was protesting about. At a postgame news conference, Manuel took his own cap off and pointed at the bill. "You can look at my cap, it's got the same kind of stuff he's [Maddon] talking about."
Of course, Blanton kept pitching, apparently kept the same hat, and was the star of Game 4 - and the object of "Let's Go Joe!" chants thundering around Citizens Bank Park.
Blanton said no umpire ever approached him about it. He wasn't ticked off about it, he said. More like bewildered, from the look on his face. Blanton said he hasn't changed his hat since he's been with the Phillies.
"Over time, over so many starts . . . [dirt] just gets rubbed on the hat," Blanton said.
Hey we all knew how Blanton pitched last night whether he use pine tar or not his pitches were sharp and he was in pretty good command. So the next question should be, should the Rays checked his bat after he hit his second hit of the year, a homer?? LOL