Girardi Notes: Camera, Foreign Substances

Michael Pineda and the pine tar of our discontent
Michael Pineda suspended ten games for pine tar incident

Got some spare Joe Girardi-related notes lying around, all stemming from last night’s game and the whole Michael Pineda pine tar incident. Away we go…

Yankees file protest, MLB investigating ESPN camera

During the game, Girardi “pushed” a remote ESPN camera that was filming Pineda in the tunnel while he was talking to pitching coaching Larry Rothschild and trainer Steve Donohue. The video is above. According to Erik Boland and George King, the Yankees formally protested to MLB because the camera was snooping around in what was supposed to be a private area. The league is investigating.

“What frustrated me is that the camera is meant for the dugout and Michael was already out of the game so I don’t want it down in our tunnel. It’s a private area and it has been clearly stated that it is for the dugout, not for the tunnel and conversations that happen between players and coaches,” said Girardi. “If I was really going to tear up the camera I would have torn it up but I was just trying to get it from being in the tunnel … I think MLB is going to have a problem with ESPN.”

I didn’t realize the camera was designated for the dugout and field only when I wrote last night’s recap, so I take back what I said about Girardi likely getting fined. I get that ESPN was trying to find a juicy shot, but if the tunnel was off limits, Girardi was absolutely right to turn it around. I don’t know what can come of the protest — this is not the same as protesting a play on the field — but hopefully the league puts the self-proclaimed World Wide Leader in Sports back in line.

Girardi may talk to MLB about changing foreign substance rules

The use of pine tar or other foreign substances has been universally supported around baseball, including by the Red Sox following last night’s game, but Pineda made the mistake of being so obvious about it. Girardi told Jorge Castillo he will consider talking to MLB about changing the substance rules so that pitchers can legally use something to help their grip.

“That’s something I’ll talk about with Major League Baseball,” said Girardi. “You’re at the highest level. You want safety. I’m going to talk with Major League Baseball.”

The thing that really stands out to me is that hitters are okay with pitchers using pine tar. Both Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski said they were fine with it as long it was well-hidden. If everyone within the game is fine with pitchers using something to improve their grips and no one is being harmed in any way, I don’t see why some kind of substance shouldn’t be approved. Let the whole process be transparent, have pitchers declare the substance and get approval from the umpires before the game. Makes sense to me.

Michael Pineda and the pine tar of our discontent
Michael Pineda suspended ten games for pine tar incident
  • Mister D

    I think its ok for ESPN’s cameras to shoot down the tunnel as long as they don’t make it obviously apparent they’re shooting down the tunnel. Then its a huge deal.

    • pepes pizza

      great comment!

      • YankeeDJW


    • Jorge Steinbrenner


      • TWTR

        Me too. That deserves a wider audience.

      • Big balls

        Sorry to ask, but I must – what does IETC stand for?

        • I enjoy this comment

          not sure.

          • Big Balls


    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Nicely done.

    • The Great Gonzo


    • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

      You won the internet today, pal.

  • RetroRob

    I’m surprised that ESPN, or any camera crew, is even allowed in the dugout during games.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Pretty cut and dry. If there’s not supposed to be a camera there, there shouldn’t be a camera there. Even on reality TV shows, you know when it is you’re being filmed.

  • http://RAB I remember the CBS years!

    Was it true that the SAWK didn’t have a camera? I just can’t believe that he didn’t ask the ‘Chairman of the Board’ for advice, or even Coney.

  • JLC 776

    I’m really looking forward to CC winning tonight and bringing back a semblance of normalcy. Everything about last night’s game was beyond surreal, the camera thing being just one more bit of flame bait for Sox Nation.

    I talked to a buddy of mine at work who was an ex-minor league pitcher for the Phillies. He’s just laughing about the whole thing, saying the fan reaction is completely overblown and that pine tar usage by pitchers is one of those eye-roll subjects that nobody cares about in the bigs. A lot of catchers will apparently keep some in their shin guards to help the pitchers out.

    Anyway, I’m still pissed we were dumb enough to be so publicly caught and now we have to listen to The Nation act condescending about this for the rest of our lives. It’s like they’re not even willing to remember that Lester was caught doing the same thing during the World freaking Series.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Oh, the reaction at the act itself is totally overblown, but would you have really expected otherwise?

      We have to differentiate between reaction to using pine tar (of which I could not care less) and reaction to blatantly doing something for which you’d risk suspension for and for which you knew half the world would be looking to see if you were doing it (which, yeah….)

      Anyways, new day, play today, win today, and all that.

      • TWTR

        I posted this on the prior thread. Do you think there is any truth to it, or am I lost?

        Thinking about this some more, if, as some have said, Cashman was criticizing the manager/coaches, and taking that together with the RS comments that the real issue is how blatant the use of pine tar was, maybe Cashman’s criticism is actually about his people not instructing Pineda about how to hide the pine tar properly.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I think Cashman’s criticism INCLUDES criticizing his people for not instructing Pineda about how to hide the pine tar properly. I don’t think it stops there, though, nor should it.

    • Cy Tanaka

      Don’t forget that Ortiz is also a steroid user but all that was swept under the rug.

      Manny was also juiced out of his mind in 2004.

      Boston fans are such hypocrites, they make me sick. Just try bringing up Spygate and listen to all the excuses.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Fandom and fairness don’t necessarily have to go hand in hand.

      • Brett is Bubbas Son

        Just remind them that Lester did the same thing in the 2013 WS.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Meh. It’s just another chapter in the rivalry. I think you have nothing to worry about as to being tormented for the rest of your life with it. We have 2004 for that.

  • TWTR

    Sometimes when you market a product, you risk the tail wagging the dog unless there are strict limits set. So props to Girardi for setting limits.

  • chris

    I agree Mike, this is not a spitball where the pitcher can hurt someone, quite the opposite. The pine tar rule is ridiculous. Allow a certain amount, declare it before a game and have the umps check to make sure it is legal.

    • I’m One

      declare it before a game

      Kind of similar to the umps allowing the pitcher to lick his fingers in cold weather while on the mound. Get everything cleared before the game. Seems this is more to allow a pitcher to better control his pitches, which while it does give a pitcher a slight advantage, is also for the safety of the batter. I’d hate to have an errant 95MPH fastball hit someone in the head.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Love this idea.

  • mt

    I agree with those who care less about the pine tar than doing something stupid (and suspension-worthy) which you almost got caught for two weeks ago against the same opponent.

    I am sure Red Sox fans in their heart of hearts, even if they don’t admit it to Yankee fans, know their pitchers do it but they are really laughing at our stupidity and obviousness in this second incident – it is hard to argue with laughing at our (whether Pineda or Yankees as a whole) stupidity and obviousness.

  • New guy

    I agree. And if it is only really used in cold weather just have a temperature maximum (60 degrees ?) like blowing on your hand or whatever that rule is.

  • yankeesfan87

    If everybody is okay with the use of pine tar, why not just have it on the mound like the rosin bag? MLB could provide the substance to ensure that it isn’t something that could be used to doctor the ball and we wouldn’t have any of this having to hide it nonsense.

    • Cy Tanaka

      Makes sense to me, but common sense and MLB don’t exactly go hand in hand.

    • JLC 776

      This is an incredibly good idea!

  • The Great Gonzo

    NO one cares about this, except for when everyone does. We’ve already spent too much time talking about pine tar.

    Can we go back to something more important, like Mark Texieria’s insanely bad approach from the left side of the plate?

    • Cy Tanaka

      Another thing that drives me insane is Gardner’s inability to read pitchers to steal.

      Guess it’s something you have or you don’t.

      Gardner did it again last night. He was on first and failed to go. Beltran hit a double, that had Gardner stole 2nd he would’ve scored on.

      He needs to be more aggressive, period.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Tex from the right makes me so happy.

      Tex from the left makes me feel like I had a puppy die.

      • Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

        This. He is guessing from the left side. Swing and miss at first pitch fb then looks at 2 more right down the middle looking for the curve. He should just give up looking for the curve-he can’t touch it from the left side.

        • TWTR

          The uppercut and diminished bat speed limit his plate coverage.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Puppy death by shift.

    • TWTR

      Nuno vs Pujols. Discuss…

    • Yankee$

      I must admit, I’m already more sick of talking about Pineda Tar then I ever was of the Brett HR. In fact, that Brett video is one I can play over in a loop with a fine cognac and some doritos.

  • Mike

    What a total joke.

    They have this pine tar story on cable news networks. Pineda didn’t do anything wrong. They better not suspend him for this.

    • JLC 776

      He did do something wrong and he did it in a mind blowingly stupid way – so mind blowingly stupid it forced the other manager to say, “oh, come on, this is ridiculous!” and call him on it.

      What’s dumb is that the rule exists in the first place. At least that seems to be the popular narrative from pitchers, batters, and experts alike.

  • Zach

    You can already hear it from Red Sox Nation that last night’s game is the one that will turn their season around a-la the A-Rod game in 04.
    Makes me puke.

    • JAG

      Maybe CC will no-hit them tonight. God that would be sweet.

  • Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

    I could only imagine what Billy Martin, Lou Piniella or Earl Weaver would have done with that ESPN camera….

    • Thurdonpaul

      Very good question.

  • RIVAN44

    I do not believe there is any evidence of him actually applying the pine tar to the ball. If there was it would be displayed as the smoking gun. I do believe he intended to use the pine tar to help him with grip. I hope that when he appeals the suspension this fact helps reduce his sentence. The rule states that no player shall ‘apply’ a foreign substance to the baseball. He can honestly say he never actually did that…just saying

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      That very well could be used, or is being already used, as evidence in his favor. We just don’t know.

    • TWTR

      He basically admitted using it when he said:

      “It was cold,” he said. “I didn’t want to hit anybody. I didn’t feel the ball, and I don’t want to hit anybody.”

    • Now Batting

      8.02 The pitcher shall not –

      (b) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically. In National Association Leagues, the automatic suspension shall be for 10 games.

    • forensic

      Gonna just choose to pretend that the rule that says you can’t have any foreign substance in your possession or on your person doesn’t exist?

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    Cameras in the dugout need to go unless the club permits it. Those stupid “chats” the FOX announcers have with the manager need to go. They ask 2 questions and nothing of note is ever said, it’s just generic garbage. Focus more on what’s transpiring on the field but I suppose they think the casual fan wants this other crap. I don’t know who the casual fan is.

  • Ralph

    This whole thing about players not having problem with it as long as it is well hidden, just seems foolish to me. Don’t get me wrong Pineda and the Yanks got what they deserved for being so amazingly stupid, but the fact that everyone is ok with it as long as it is hidden just seems ridiculous to me. Its either ok or its not.

    • Mike HC

      Agreed. Don’t force players to be sneaky and dishonest for something that is accepted in the game. Anyway, it seems this event will be the tipping point to change the rule. Maybe they should call it the “Michael Pineda rule?”

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      What that sounds like is a rule that needs to be revisited.

    • TWTR

      It’s like cheating on your wife in an open marriage (not that I would know). You can do it, but don’t rub her face in it by doing it so publicly that it embarrasses her in front of her friends.

    • Now Batting

      It’s pretty clear that having it – hidden or not – is against the rules. Since a lot of players use it and because nobody wants a war of reciprocation, nobody makes a big deal about it unless you’re a blatant asshole – something Pineda clearly was.

      • Mike HC

        It is a terrible rule though if every respected person in baseball agrees that using pine tar is ok. Every person involved in the actual game seems to be ok with using pine tar. All the respected, older voices that spoke out seem to be ok with using pine tar. So who exactly is this rule in existence for?

        • Now Batting

          The rule itself is fine. The issue we’re discussing is if pine tar should no longer be treated as a “foreign substance” like the rosin bag.

          • Mike HC

            Ok. Defining pine tar as a “foreign substance” under rule 8.02 is fucking stupid because everybody in baseball is ok with it.


            • Now Batting

              A lot better than your previous logic that because everyone is ok with pine tar a rule forbidding foreign substances is “horrible”.

              ..but you’re the exasperated one. Ok guy.

              The fact that people are ok with pine tar doesn’t make it any less a foreign substance at this time. Sure you can change the definition of pine tar but that opens up all kinds of other issues.

  • Deep Thoughts

    Infield / bullpen help newly available:

  • John

    10 game suspension confirmed for Pineda.
    If he doesn’t appeal Yankees should only need spot-starter once because of off-day.

  • Slab

    I didn’t get to watch the game. Is there any indication the Red Sox pitcher, who apparently was doing just fine in the cold, was using something to aid in gripping?

  • Pineda’s Tar Bucket

    He was doing that thing with his hands where he put them on the ball and just threw it…I think it’s called pitching or something like that. He may have even massaged the ball here and there and occasionally licked himself like a cat