Sanabia in spotlight for spitting

MIAMI –- As Domonic Brown was circling the bases after homering on Monday night, a bit of controversy swirled around Alex Sanabia.

Unintentionally, Sanabia found himself receiving spitting scrutiny.

After Brown’s homer in the second inning of Miami’s 5-1 win over the Phillies, home plate umpire Sam Holbrook tossed Sanabia a new baseball.

Immediately, the Marlins 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.

Sanabia declined comment.

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.

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

In recent years pitchers were instructed that if they go to their mound while not on the rubber, they have to wipe their hand before gripping the baseball.

Initially, Redmond believed crew chief Joe West, who was umpiring first base, threw out the ball that Sanabia spit on. But on Tuesday West was asked about the incident, and noted that he didn’t see Sanabia spit on the ball. But later in the game, West did notice Sanabia went to his mouth improperly, and that ball was discarded.

Joe Frisaro

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