Redmond says Sanabia spitting on ball 'unintentional'

MLB has not contacted Marlins regarding any infraction by young righty

Redmond says Sanabia spitting on ball 'unintentional'

MIAMI -- Marlins right-hander Alex Sanabia picked up a victory on Monday as well as some unwanted publicity.

Sanabia gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings in Miami's 5-1 victory over the Phillies at Marlins Park.

But it was that one run -- a home run to Domonic Brown in the second inning -- that drew some attention and raised a bit of controversy.

Before Brown touched home, umpire Sam Holbrook tossed Sanabia a new baseball.

Immediately, the Miami right-hander spit on it and then repeatedly rubbed the ball. The incident was captured by a TV camera.

The incident went pretty much undetected on Monday night, but the video clip made it a visible topic on Tuesday.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he was unaware what exactly Sanabia did until he saw the video on Tuesday.

"I had no idea," Redmond said. "Somebody showed me the video, and I had no idea. I didn't see it. I watch those guys like a hawk out there. I never saw it one time."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel on Monday didn't make an issue, and on Tuesday he added it was no big deal.

Manuel noted he didn't see what Sanabia did, and he wasn't really bothered.

"It happens all the time," Manuel said. "I didn't see it."

Crew chief Joe West, who was the first-base umpire Monday, was asked about the incident on Tuesday. West noted that he didn't see Sanabia spit on the ball, and therefore it was used in the game. But later in the game, West did order Sanabia to discard another ball for improperly going to his mouth.

Pitchers are allowed to lick their fingers when they're not on the pitching rubber, but they must immediate wipe them before gripping the baseball.

"I think it probably was unintentional," Redmond said. "He was rubbing the ball. I don't think it was an intentional thing. I think he just did it probably without even knowing."

Sanabia declined comment.

Redmond added that no one from MLB has contacted the Marlins regarding any infraction or possible suspension for doctoring the baseball.

The Marlins have a young team and inexperienced players sometimes need reminding of what they can and can't do.

"Just like we've talked about guys tipping pitches and all that stuff, you have to really be aware of what you're doing out there," Redmond said. "I truly believe that he probably didn't realize what he did. Obviously, he won't ever do that again."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter