Yankees starter Michael Pineda has been suspended 10 games by MLB for having pine tar on his neck during his start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park Wednesday night. The suspension begins tonight unless Pineda files an appeal.
“New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda has been suspended for 10 games for possessing a foreign substance on his person,” the statement by MLB reads. “Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards and On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement. Unless appealed, Pineda’s suspension is scheduled to begin (Thursday night), when the two Clubs continue their series in Boston. If appealed, the discipline issued to him will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.”
Pineda was ejected after pitching just 1-2/3 innings in last night’s game when Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to let home plate umpire Gerry Davis know about the situation and after after inspecting the Yankees starter, Davis spotted the pine tar glazed on Pineda’s neck and he was tossed out of the game.
“In the second inning it looked from the dugout that there was a substance on his neck,” Farrell said after the game. “I could see it from the dugout. It was confirmed by a number of camera angles in the ballpark. And given the last time we faced him, I felt like it was a necessity to say something. I fully respect on a cold night you’re trying to get a little bit of a grip, when it’s that obvious, something’s gotta be said. Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past.”
Pineda admitted to using a foreign substance when he was grilled by the media after Wednesday’s night’s game in the visitor’s clubhouse.
“Yeah, I [did] it by myself,” Pineda said. “…Yes, it’s pine tar… I apologize for my teammates, everybody so, I’ve learned from this mistake [it won’t] happen again.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the incident was an “embarrassment” to the organization after the game.
Last night’s Red Sox starter Jon Lackey, who pitched a gem for eight innings in Boston’s 5-1 win, was asked if the Pineda incident would overshadow his outstanding outing. “I don’t know,” Lackey said. “I guess considering his last start against us it was probably a little blatant.”
Pineda ejected for substance on neck pic.twitter.com/lrk4rejt21
— Steve Silva (@stevesilva) April 23, 2014
On April 10 in New York, with the Red Sox-Yankees game scoreless in Yankee Stadium, a glossy brown substance could be seen on Pineda’s pitching hand. By the time Farrell was alerted to it then, it was gone.
“A foreign substance is illegal,” Farrell said in the Bronx. “But by the time we became aware of it, it was gone.”
Pineda denied the charges in the Yankee Stadium incident.
“It’s dirt,” Pineda said. “Between the innings, I’m sweating too much [on] my hand, I’m putting dirt, I’m grasping the dirt… I’m not using pine tar.”