That whole spitting thing? No big deal

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Lynne Sladky/AP

MIAMI — The Internet was rife with conspiracy theories Monday night when the Phillies' broadcast feed showed Marlins pitcher Alex Sanabia spit on a baseball immediately after allowing a solo home run to Domonic Brown.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was not bothered by the incident.

"Not really," he said Tuesday. "It happens all the time. I didn't see it."

The umpiring crew did not see it either. Later in the game, first-base umpire Joe West saw Sanabia improperly put his hand to his mouth and instructed that ball be thrown away. Pitchers are allowed to lick their fingers if they are not on the mound, and many do that before rubbing a new ball.

Rule 8.02 of the Major League Baseball rulebook allows the umpire leeway in deciding whether the doctoring of the ball was intentional or not. West decided there was no malice on the ball he saw.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond was also unaware of Sanabia's act. Sanabia declined to speak to reporters Tuesday.

"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. Joe saw it and threw the ball out."

Redmond said no one from MLB contacted the team regarding any penalties.


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