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Yankees pregame: Pineda not getting suspended (Updated)

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Misc on Apr 11, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Michael PinedaMichael Pineda is still sticking to his dirt story to explain that shiny spot on the palm of his hand during Thursday night’s brilliant start against the Red Sox. The picture above is from the first inning. Joe Torre plans on speaking to the Yankees about it, though, since the speculation was that it was pine tar to improve his grip on the ball, a foreign substance that’s supposed to be a no-no.

Pineda said he put dirt on his hand because it was sweaty. But even if it were pine tar, Pineda doesn’t have to worry about some sort of suspension coming down.

Here’s MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre’s statement to the AP:

“The umpires did not observe an application of a foreign substance during the game and the issue was not raised by the Red Sox.  Given those circumstances, there are no plans to issue a suspension, but we intend to talk to the Yankees regarding what occurred.”

(Torre did talk to Brian Cashman and Cashman said it’s now “a resolved issue.”)

Joe Girardi said he’s focusing on managing tonight’s game. “As far as the other thing, I have not heard from Joe Torre, and I’m not worried about it,” he said.

Girardi said he did speak to Pineda, but not about this situation.

“I don’t talk to pitchers about that, like, ‘Do you use or don’t you use?’ ” Girardi said. “I mean, this is not a recreational drug. So I don’t talk to people about that.

“I’m aware. I’ve been on teams where I’ve seen it. I’m 99 percent sure that I know of guys on other teams that use it, and I just haven’t said anything. So will we talk to Michael? If we did, I wouldn’t tell you anyway.”

But if using pine tar just helps the grip but doesn’t have an impact on pitch movement, and some believe it doesn’t, should the rule be changed?

“The way we’re addressing rules now, I think we could address that and get some clarity on it,” Girardi said. “It would probably be helpful.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell said the substance was gone from Pineda’s hand for the fifth inning.

“I’m sure every pitcher does it for purposes of getting a better grip or whatever, but last night was flat-out blatant,” Shane Victorino said.

On another topic, Girardi said he expects Mark Teixeira back by May 1, but Cashman wouldn’t commit to that timetable. Cashman said Brendan Ryan wouldn’t be back this month. Ryan has been doing some light baseball activities on the way back from his back problem.

“It’s improving,” Girardi said, “but he’s still a ways away from games.”

Photo by The Associated Press.

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64 Responses to “Yankees pregame: Pineda not getting suspended (Updated)”

  1. austinmac April 11th, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I now have a consecutive prediction of streak of one. I am putting that on the line by predicting a good game from CC and a budding relationship with Cervelli as catcher.

  2. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Shane Victorino can put his buggy eyes where the sun doesn’t shine. So cheating’s okay, Shane, but just don’t be blatant about it? What a jerk.

    ************

    I am full of questions right now. So if anyone can answer any of these, I’d appreciate it. I do believe that the pine tar is to grip and not to change the trajectory, speed, etc. of the ball because I’ve heard that enough now, from players as well as here, to believe that it’s to help the grip. Based on that -

    1. why would MLB have outlawed it for pitchers in the first place? Can anyone figure that out?

    2. For anyone who has pitched before, or is really aware of training, practice, etc., if you pitched say once a week for your entire pitching career and then you started pitching on 4 days rest, wouldn’t that impact your pitching? I know that major league pitchers have standard routines, where they take bull-pens on their off days etc. But their bodies are in a total rhythm with that stuff. I remember certain pitchers on the Yankees who pitched poorly when they pitched out of turn. Too much rest, not enough rest.

    Based on that, how much of a transition is it for Tanaka to go from pitching once a week to pitching on 4 days rest? Can anyone speak to that without guessing at it?

    3. Can anyone give me background on the posters Lost, “P”, Lot’s son or daughter? There was a period of time when I took a long hiatus from the forum and so they might have been posting then, or I might have seen them briefly before I left or when I came back, but I absolutely have no recollection of anything about them. Were they banned from the forum? The other night I was apparently posting with iterations of those people but of course I didn’t know it. Just curious as to who they are and what their gig is.

    Thanks if you can take a shot at any of those questions.

  3. bbb51 April 11th, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Shame Spencer April 11th, 2014 at 4:27 pm
    Resin.

    Dirt.

  4. austinmac April 11th, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Trisha,

    Using pine tar for a better grip doesn’t bother me, but it could be a fine line to having a guy load up a ball in one spot with it and change trajectory. It may be a hard rule to write or interpret.

  5. bbb51 April 11th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    “I’m sure every pitcher does it for purposes of getting a better grip or whatever, but last night was flat-out blatant,” Shane Victorino said.

    Yeah, it’s better if you hide it, or smear crap all over your forearm.

  6. austinmac April 11th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Sweaty dirt.

  7. Doreen April 11th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Don’t infielders also use pine tar to help them control their throws?

  8. Mottsx April 11th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I’m in love w Heidi from quick pitch do all women in San Diego look like her?

  9. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks austin.

    :)

  10. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    “I now have a consecutive prediction of streak of one. I am putting that on the line by predicting a good game from CC and a budding relationship with Cervelli as catcher.”

    With that endorsement, I am going to remain cautiously optimistic.

    ;)

  11. Michelle B. of Yankee Stadium West April 11th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Trisha -

    i can only speak from my time as an athletic trainer in the minors – Obviously i wasnt a pitcher.

    In the 3 years i spent in the minors – i saw
    pinetar
    spit mixed with gum and tobacco residue in the webs of fingers –
    crazy glue used under a fingernail of a knuckleball pitcher
    sunscreen
    rosin and powerade (guy pours powerade on hands and then uses rosin bag (sticky and colorful)
    wet dirt
    hairspray
    hair gel
    ben gay

    Possibly more, but these were the most prevalent

    It really is just accepted and not looked at as cheating – most guys dont do it to throw the ball any faster or make it move anymore – they use to make sure their 90 something mph fastball isnt going to end up in someone’s ear because of sweat. It’s really no big deal.

  12. kd April 11th, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    silly that a common practice overshadows likely one of the best starts of his professional career. if he keeps attacking and getting after it, he’ll be great for a long time

    his velocity did seems to diminish and maybe he needs a little more conditioning, but he was great

    with tanaka, pineda, and potentially manban the yankees have a core for the future.

  13. Poetkiosk April 11th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    It’s no big deal unless it’s a Yankee

  14. pete2 April 11th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I believe pine tar or any other sticky substance allows pitchers to generate a tighter spin on the ball, and hence more movement, in other words, it can enhance a pitchers pitches. Certainly, it does provide a better grip. An analogy to this double purpose is the excuse for PED use by players who get caught. They used to it help recover from an injury and not to enhance performance. It does both of course.

    The key thing here, is that for whatever reason, it seems rather prevalent and nobody makes much of an issue of it, at least based on reactions of players, managers and MLB officials. However, Peralta in 2012 was ejected and suspended for using pine tar or its equivalent. Not sure which manager/team challenged that.

  15. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Michelle, that’s what I mean. I wonder what MLB’s initial reasoning was for outlawing it. And I wonder if they are going to take another look at it. And if as austin said it can possibly change the trajectory of the ball or something, then maybe MLB should make a rule as to the amount and placement allowed during a game when the temperature dips below ____ degrees.

  16. pete2 April 11th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Thing is Pineda used the same substance in the dome in Toronto. Temperature was not an issue there

  17. SweetSpot April 11th, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Pine tar only allows a better grip, it does not effect the motion of the pitch. This per John Smoltz on WFAN earlier.

  18. Michelle B. of Yankee Stadium West April 11th, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Pete2

    thats true – but maybe he sweats a lot – I know people who sweat putting on their shoes. Im not making excuses for him, but it seems that the only people who care are bloggers and media hacks – I think it’s a non issue.

    There was a pitcher in toronto who was putting sunscreen on – when the dome was closed. again, wrong? right? it appears that no one who gets paid to play even remotely cares.

  19. pete2 April 11th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Good article here from a former MLB pitcher

    http://deadspin.com/a-major-le.....1562307090

  20. RadioKev April 11th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    MLB is ducking the issue. Either change the rule or enforce the rule. Letting the gray area go is silly and causes undue controversy.

  21. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    They’re telling you you can use it, just don’t abuse it.
    There must be laws like that out there where it’s more or less a built in warning to be careful.
    What I don’t understand is making an issue about possible suspension.
    Who even broached that subject?
    In this case the RS thinks they win, as they can’t really complain, which They didn’t, their announcers did (wasn’t that orchestrated?) but, in their collective minds they got into Pinedas head , maybe, for the next time they face them.

  22. pete2 April 11th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Michelle B. of Yankee Stadium West April 11th, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Pete2

    thats true – but maybe he sweats a lot – I know people who sweat putting on their shoes. Im not making excuses for him, but it seems that the only people who care are bloggers and media hacks – I think it’s a non issue.

    There was a pitcher in toronto who was putting sunscreen on – when the dome was closed. again, wrong? right? it appears that no one who gets paid to play even remotely cares.
    =============================

    I agree it is a non-issue so long as other managers do not challenge it. They don’t challenge for the most part since their pitchers do the same. Hitters don’t want to be a target for pitchers upset at not being able to use the stuff so they keep quiet. MLB wants to suppress offense since they know PED testing is a failure and they need to suppress offense to keep Congress off their back, which is also why the strike zone is expanding

    Yeah, that pitcher in Toronto was Buchholz, so you can understand why Farrell did not challenge Pineda

  23. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    It seems like one of those purposely vague parameters that have to be mentioned but not enforceed unless grossly abused. (like walking out to the mound with a bottle of vaseline or pinetar to apply between pitches).

  24. Michelle B. of Yankee Stadium West April 11th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Mick -

    not sure they got in his head – the stuff was gone in the 5th inning and he seemed to pitch fine through the 7th.

    It’s as much as a non issue as corking a bat was – people did it, the only time people cared was when a bat shattered and you could actually see the cork.

  25. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Ironically, this is the same argument players must use with steroids.
    Hell, everybody does it, so must I.

  26. chicken_stanley April 11th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    good evening all.

    Trisha – I have not read the rules pertaining to foreign substances… just passing along what I heard on mlb radio today (all day long as I drove home)… Its not that pine tar was singled out to be banned due to a particular competitive advantage it gave. It falls under the broad umbrella of foreign substances (which apparently includes everything but resin).

    Could be wrong, just the take I got today

  27. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Michelle-
    Granted we don’t know if they got in his head but they sure tried even with their deflection.
    We won’t know if they did until he faces them again or if other teams go after him.
    I’m sure he’ll be more discrete next time.

  28. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    “MLB is ducking the issue. Either change the rule or enforce the rule. Letting the gray area go is silly and causes undue controversy.”

    Exactly what I’m saying. And I don’t see how you can look at it any other way. It’s the white elephant in the middle of the room. I agree when he has his NY cap on, people do tend to see him more. But still, he’s there and to pretend he isn’t is just plain foolish.

  29. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    They will allow you to do it, just don’t be a pig about it.

  30. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Pinetar can absolutely change the effectiveness of a pitch. you have the advantage of a stronger grip, maintaining control of the ball later into your release than a slippery ball. You can impart more spin causing sharper break or faster speed. And its foolish to think that pine tar is somehow different from spit, scuffing, vaseline, or any other abrasion/substance that alters the flight of the ball. If you for some reason find yourself with enough of it to cake up, you only need to leave a bit of it on the ball to have it alter the path. You just want the air to move around the ball a bit more unnaturally and you’ll get more break/erratic break. Of course guys are going to say they want to use it to get a better grip ‘so they don’t hit a guy with a 90 mph fastball’. It lets them gloss over the other benefits of what a tackier grip means.

    Of course if you don’t load up the ball with enough pinetar its not going to get the aerodynamic benefits of scuffing/spitting, but its not like its impossible with that substance. I’m sure some guys only use a bit on their finger tips to get a better grip, but lets not be so naive as to think no one is also using it to their advantage pitch wise.

  31. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Difference is pinetar,like the rosin bag are part of the game, on the field.
    A bottle of vaseline is not. Spitting and scuffing are not.

  32. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    The reason why it stays outlawed is because if you allow pitchers to use pinetar, you’re basically agreeing to spit balls and scuff balls being legal again. Which is why I don’t think the rule will change, and it will continue to be an ‘unwritten rule’ that you can use a little bit but if you use too much someone is going to say something. And try to be quiet about it as well.

  33. SweetSpot April 11th, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    John Smoltz doesn’t agree with you. Perhaps he’s not as experienced about pitching in the big leagues.

  34. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    “They will allow you to do it, just don’t be a pig about it.”

    Is that what the rule book says?

    “…but lets not be so naive as to think no one is also using it to their advantage pitch wise.”

    And therein lies the rub – so to speak. If you sit back quietly and think about this for a few minutes and then ask yourself whether you want your team to be victimized by any unfair advantage, would the answer be yes? Listen, I don’t care how many times you try to convince yourselves, you cannot say unequivocally that every pitcher in the majors uses pine tar.

    For me it always comes down to hoping that people play by the rules and thereby set as even a playing field as possible. And that’s what I will always look for and what my standards will be.

    You want your team to go to the world series and win it right? Do you want them to be stopped because some players/teams use unfair advantage that they are not supposed to use according to the rules? Do you want them to be stopped because some umpire can’t call a game correctly and your team somehow gets screwed – and don’t give me this trite it all evens out in the end, because that’s lazy horse manure.

    If we start to insist that people pay attention to the rules, it will create more of an even playing field for all of them, especially players who do want to follow the rules.

  35. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Difference is pinetar,like the rosin bag are part of the game, on the field.
    A bottle of vaseline is not. Spitting and scuffing are not.

    How is spitting not part of the game? Matt Garza does it every 2 seconds on the mound. Or scuffing? Guys wear cleats. Catchers have tons of buckles all over their gear. Pinetar is a part of the game… for the batters. Not for the pitchers. And why is vaseline not part of the game? Guys can’t get lubricated in some fashion? What if you want to avoid friction with your uni/gear?

    Sorry Mick, this argument doesn’t really fly. The only thing that is specifically on the field for the pitchers to use is the rosin bag.

  36. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    So it is a necessary evil, leave it at that.
    PInetar is just part of the game.

  37. pete2 April 11th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Light drizzle I hear, and based on the forecast I don’t much like the chances of this game going 5 w/o interruption

  38. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Is that what the rule book says?
    =======================
    yes, if you read between the lines.
    it’s acknowledged not banished.

  39. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    John Smoltz doesn’t agree with you.

    If you use your brain for 2 seconds to think about how and why scuffing/spitting/superglueing/shaving creaming/sun tan lotioning can be used to enhance ball movement you will see that pine tar is also capable of doing the same thing.

    John Smoltz argument is basically “cocaine is just a pain killer, no one uses it for recreational drug use.”

  40. chicken_stanley April 11th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    JF – I agree with you on the grip analysis… but a sweat and resin mixture does much the same thing and its completely legal. as for altering the flight of the ball, I’m sure it is possible but I’m a bit dubious. Normally, you alter the expected flight of the ball by reducing spin, which makes a slick substance advantageous over a tacky one. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some pitchers that use pine tar to their advantage in ways other than grip (whether real or imagined advantage)

  41. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    You have a round ball with raised seams. By imparting spin or no spin on the ball, the air moves around the spherical object thus creating movement on the pitch. Depending on the force effects of the rotation, and how the air moves around it, you get the different movement in the game.

    When you scuff a pitch, abrabe the surface, the air flow is changed from what would be considered ‘normal’, creating different and possibly enhanced movement.

    Now consider a patch of pine tar on the same location, and you have your answer as to how pine tar can affect the flight of the ball. TO say nothing for the benefits of having a stronger grip.

    Shouldn’t ‘grip’ be a natural talent that people with good hands have? Why are we letting people gain an unnatural advantage?

  42. SweetSpot April 11th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    No, he actually said that using enough pine tar to change the flight of the ball would make it uncontrollable. It’s way too sticky. A pitcher barely touches it to just enable a little better grip. In short, pine tar enhances a better grip and does not change the flight, motion or action of a pitch.

  43. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Why are we letting people gain an unnatural advantage?
    =============
    Same thing can be said about steroids.

  44. pete2 April 11th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    “Michelle B. of Yankee Stadium West April 11th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Mick -

    not sure they got in his head – the stuff was gone in the 5th inning and he seemed to pitch fine through the 7th.
    ——————-

    Was it really gone? Someone in the game thread said he just moved it to his glove hand. I was watching on my phone so could not tell

  45. SweetSpot April 11th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I’m not opining whether it’s right or wrong I am just stating that the practical consensus seems to be it affords a pitcher a little better grip and that’s all.

  46. Shame Spencer April 11th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Not much of a crowd here yet…slow to fill up in the Bronx.

  47. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    On a cold and rainy night like tonite I am sure there will be abundant pinetar usage.
    Might be safer that way..

  48. mick April 11th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Not much of a crowd here yet…slow to fill up in the Bronx.
    ======================
    What’s the attraction?

  49. pete2 April 11th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    ” SweetSpot April 11th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    No, he actually said that using enough pine tar to change the flight of the ball would make it uncontrollable. It’s way too sticky. A pitcher barely touches it to just enable a little better grip. In short, pine tar enhances a better grip and does not change the flight, motion or action of a pitch.
    ======================

    Seeing as he probably used it himself he probably does not want to talk about the performance enhancing aspects of it, such as tighter spin which improves deception and movement.

  50. chicken_stanley April 11th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Shouldn’t ‘grip’ be a natural talent that people with good hands have? Why are we letting people gain an unnatural advantage?

    ———————–

    If you use that argument then the resin (rosin, whatever) bag should be taken away as well. Frankly, I would be okay with that as a fan. The players? probably not so much

  51. mick April 11th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Was it really gone?
    =========
    No. It was moved to the left wrist.

  52. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Shame – checked out the glassed-in rooms. Bet you’ll see peeps in there due to the cold/potential rain.

    :(

    **********

    “I’m not opining whether it’s right or wrong I am just stating that the practical consensus seems to be it affords a pitcher a little better grip and that’s all.”

    I have to opine that if it’s an infraction of the rules, it’s wrong and remains wrong unless and until they do something about changing the rules.

    ********

    Off to baseball hell…NESN.

    :evil:

  53. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I’m not opining whether it’s right or wrong I am just stating that the practical consensus seems to be it affords a pitcher a little better grip and that’s all.

    Again, this is a naive view of it. Of course pitchers would say that, they are the ones doing it. A spot of pinetar on the ball would act similarly to a scuff ball.

    A scuffed ball or a stickier ball is not as dangerous as a spitter, because those really can get away from guys, but its still a potentially illegal pitch.

  54. chicken_stanley April 11th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Shame – forgot you and “pops” were going tonight… Have a great time…

  55. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 11th, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Yikes, it looks emptier than last night!

  56. mick April 11th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Some of you should go to the games if you’re so concerned.
    Hell, if enough went from LoHud the problem would be solved.

  57. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    All you need to do is listen to David Cone talk about shaking off the catcher the other day to understand the benefits of pinetar. He said that sometimes he’d shake off because the ball he got from the umpire had particularly raised seams or frayed seams, so he wanted to make use of that advantage to throw a sharper breaking pitch or a more erratic fastball.

    When there is gamesmanship going on even with the balls received by the umpire, which are supposed to be manufacture to a standard, then you can realize there is some gamesmanship going on here with this pinetar stuff.

  58. SweetSpot April 11th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Well look, if someone thinks Smoltz and others are lying there’s nowhere to go from there. I think that’s pretty unfair personally, considering his reputation and credentials both as a player and afterwards. But everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

  59. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Its just a basic misunderstanding of science to believe Smoltz though.

  60. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    It would be like Smoltz talking about Ventura having a rising fastball. Yea the dude pitched a lot. He has a lot of experience pitching. It makes him an expert in the act of throwing a pitch. It doesn’t make him an expert in understanding why pitches move the way they do.

  61. SweetSpot April 11th, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    You’re totally wrong but that’s ok. Off to watch the game.

  62. Jerkface April 11th, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Poor WCYF, ignorant of the basic principles of science :( Continues to appeal to authority.

  63. jmills April 11th, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UgincTSCkYQ#

    I like this song.

  64. J. Alfred Prufrock April 11th, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I really can’t stand this Jon Lester face time that’s going on, here.

    I don’t care what Lestah has to say and I certainly don’t need a 10-minute interview with him invading my living room.

    There’s this Yankee mindset that Yankee fans are fascinated with all things Red Sox. Although that’s true of a couple of people on this site, it isn’t true for the usual confident Yankee fan who busies his/herself with their own team.

    Boston paranoia is a bore, and now, YES is institutionalizing it.

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