BY Art Thiel 09:11PM 04/23/2014

Yankees’ Pineda ejected: Pine tar on neck

Make another entry into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Infamy: Former Mariners All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected Sunday for using pine tar — placed in a highly visible spot on his neck.

His 2012 trade to the Yankees for Jesus Montero will be forever cursed as the swap of banned substances. Montero, caught up in the Biogenesis was suspended for 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Pineda was called out by Boston manager John Farrell in the second inning at Fenway Park. Umpires came out to check his glove and uniform, then spotted a glop smeared on the right side of his neck in plain sight. Pineda shrugged his shoulders and ambled away to the clubhouse.

He faces a likely suspension, perhaps for 10 games, depending on the commissioner’s office. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games in 2012 after being found with pine tar on his glove, his first offense.

But this was the second time in three games Pineda was seen using pine tar. On April 10 against the Red Sox, TV cameras detected pine tar on his palm, but neither umpires nor the Red Sox checked. It didn’t seem to raise too much of a ruckus; Red Sox star David Ortiz said, “Everybody uses pine tar in the league. It’s not a big deal.”

This time, umpire Gerry Davis went to the mound and examined Pineda’s glove and hands, then spotted the shiny brown smear, wiped some on his fingers, and threw out Pineda, who was hooted into the clubhouse by Red Sox fans.

Before the game, Farrell was asked whether he thought Pineda would use again.

“I would expect if it’s used, it’s more discreet than the last time,” Farrell told reporters. Apparently not. He either overestimated Pineda’s intelligence or underestimated his naivete.

Pineda (2-1, 1.83 ERA) had been pitching well as the Yankees’ No. 5 starter after missing all of 2013 with injuries. Montero, with whom he will be forever linked, showed up 40 pounds overweight to Mariners spring training, and GM Jack Zduriencik did not hide his scorn.

Montero was banned from catching, sent to AAA Tacoma and now is trying first first base. In 13 games with the Rainiers, he’s hitting .265 with three homers, 10 RBIs and an OPS of .866.

Pineda’s previous excuse was that his hand perspires, and he was using dirt, not pine tar, to keep them dry. But now that he has made himself and the Yankees look foolish on national TV, perhaps he can upgrade the excuse to catch up to Montero in the race to see who comes out of this deal with the most condemnations per games played.


  • 1coolguy

    The guy was awfully nonchalant about it – is he dim? It will result in an 8-10 game suspension which totals some serious cash he won’t be paid.

    Anyway as you said, another one that got away. If he continues anywhere near his start, he will easily be under a 3.00 era. For a 25 year old he should have a number of good seasons ahead.

    HOWARD and JACK must be happy tonight with their 1 (ONE) game win streak. I noted attendance was a paltry 13,700. Just for the heck of it I pulled up the ESPN attendance page and the M’s are 22 of 30 teams @ 51% capacity and decreasing fast.

    Must be nice to run a business and keep the job after so many years of failure, other than the tv contract. Where can I apply for one of these?

    • Pixdawg13

      Well, first you must buy a piece of the business…

      • Trygvesture

        and be in the right place at the right time with a rich rich rich benefactor and ally, and inherit a franchise and get a palatial ballpark and office free of charge and do nothing to establish credentials or competency… and know you’ll be ordained as the CEO autocrat for life and believe deeply that you deserve it and all critics are wrong, jealous and spiteful and less intelligent than yourself, who you always see as the smartest guy in the room. And said so. That’d describe it pretty well I think..

        • art thiel

          Tryg, for your health, you gotta ease off the throttle. Enjoy the one-game streak.
          Unless of course, complaining about Lincoln helps you from doing same to people important to you.

    • art thiel

      22 is ahead of where they finished a year ago. But it includes the Opening Day bump.

      As for your job resume, always apply at monopoly operations.

  • jafabian

    Not a lot of smarts here. To do this in his next start after it was reported about him using pine tar? Against the same team he played in that start? Putting pine tar in full view wasn’t too smart either. Either inside his glove or under the lid of his hat would have been better. He needs to have a talk with Gaylord Perry on how to better prepare for his starts if he’s going to do that.

    Not like the Red Sox are any better. Jon Lester got accused in the World Series. Pretty cocky to do that in the big show. Clay Buchholz was suspected of cheating last year as well. David Ortiz seemed to shrug it off and say that lots of pitchers do it. I don’t think it gives pitchers a huge advantage, especially against the elite hitters.

    • art thiel

      No sabermetrics I’ve seen has included IQ.

  • Big

    Now this is baseball, pine tar balls, performance enhancing drugs, show boating, fighting, hard slides, arguing calls, and I’m not so interested in replay which slows the game down.

    • art thiel

      No doubt arguing speeds up the game.

      • Big

        Arguing has a higher interest level than (instant?) replay. Not to mention the occasional hissy fit. Entertaining baseball has become a moot issue in Seattle.

        • notaboomer

          i think the owners want replay so fans get up and buy overpriced concessions during the ultra-boring call to ny.

        • art thiel

          No doubt about the amusement factor, but it doesn’t speed up the game.

          Then again, there’s beard hat night. How can you not call that compelling entertainment?

          • Big

            I was amused by beard hat night promotion. Funny nose and glasses another fond memory. Interconnected monkey business.

  • notaboomer

    joe girardi had no idear that pineda was pinetarring. suspend girardi for cheating.

    • art thiel

      Next time Pineda is going to put pine tar on his crotch and dare the ump to check him.

  • Trygvesture

    I like it. Good ol baseball stuff to spar about. Not roids or replays or idiotic batting glove velcro delays, or…
    Well, I guess goofball ownership is also a part of the game. Just wish that part were elsewhere.

    • art thiel

      You just have a tighter definition of what you call idiotic.