Sherman: MLB not planning to suspend Pineda for pine tar incident

Mailbag: Framing, Defense, Bichette, Jagielo, CC
2014 Draft: Baseball America's updated top 50 prospects

Via Joel Sherman: MLB executive Joe Torre said the league is not planning to suspend Michael Pineda for last night’s alleged pine tar incident. “The umpires did not observe an application of a foreign substance during the game and the issue was not raised by the Red Sox,” said Torre. “Given those circumstances, there are no plans to issue a suspension, but we intend to talk to the Yankees regarding what occurred.”

Pineda, 25, sure had what looked like a brown foreign substance on his right hand during innings one through four (photo). Replays showed nothing on his hand in the fifth inning or later. Neither the Red Sox nor the umpires raised an issue, and it’s a bit of an open secret that most pitchers use some kind of substance to improve their grip. Pineda was just way too obvious about it.

Mailbag: Framing, Defense, Bichette, Jagielo, CC
2014 Draft: Baseball America's updated top 50 prospects
  • TWTR

    Good. A suspension would have been an even more egregious example of selective prosecution than the A-Rod matter. As Aaron Boone said, he needs to “be a little more subtle with it.”

  • vicki


  • Mike

    Pineda wasn’t cheating.

    • MB923

      If you broke/violated a rule, then yes it’s cheating. Though according to Chris Capuano, Every player uses some kind of substance, so this is a league wide thing. The league should do something about this then going forward

      Maybe after every time a pitcher goes to the mound each inning (or when one comes in the game), have the ump check his arm, forearm, hand, cap, glove, etc. for any type of substance?

      • jim p

        Just change the rule to be realistic. Pitchers seem to use it on cold and/or wet days for a better grip. And it seems wide-spread. Haven’t seen any managers or batters complaining about it.

        So just require the ump’s permission at game start or if a sudden rain comes along.

        Adding substances to make the ball behave wildly is another matter.

        • MB923

          “So just require the ump’s permission at game start or if a sudden rain comes along”

          That’s not a bad suggestion either.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Yeah, there’s plenty of logical ways around this. Hopefully there’s saner days with this.

        • JCK


          “Everybody uses pine tar in the league. It’s not a big deal.” – David Ortiz

          “As long as I’ve played, there’s guys always trying to make sure they’ve got a grip when there is cold weather early on. Maybe it’s cheating, but I don’t really look at it that way. Some guys might, but not me, personally.” – David Ross

          “I’ve never seen any kind of sticky substance give anybody an edge.” – Clay Buchholz

          “I have pine tar on my bat. That’s a non-issue. He was better than us tonight.” – Dustin Pedroia

          “I’d rather him have a good grip and know where the ball is going.” – David Ross (again)

          Non story of the year so far.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Honestly, good on them for saying that. It feels like it goes beyond “well, our guy did it too” and really is meant to make this a non-issue.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Buccholz’s quote is hilarious, though.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                All sorts of places to go with that.

                • Mr. Roth

                  I’m pretty sure that sticky substances give his pornstar girlfriend an edge.

              • David

                Yeah, having sticky fingers didn’t help him get away with anything :-)

          • Mr. Roth

            Just another example of the media doing whatever they can to trash the Yankees whenever possible.

      • qwerty

        I didn’t realize that Chris Capuano spoke for every pitcher in baseball.

  • Bronx Boy

    I’m sure by now the vets on the team have taken him aside and told him how to do it.

  • Brandon

    No doubt the MSM and Red Sox Nation will whine about a conflict of interest with Torre

    • gageagainstthemachine

      Yeah, always fun to listen to that when MLB has essentially made the Red Sox their poster child, beloved franchise over the last decade by turning a blind eye to almost everything they do.

    • Captain Turbohiro Tanaka

      Definitely a conflict of interest. Why, that would be like asking the director of a major league team to run the investigation into steroid abuse.

      Wait what?

      • George Mitchell

        What are you implying? Manny was clean until the day he left town. After that, well, that’s not my problem.

        • Captain Turbohiro Tanaka

          Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Say no more.

    • hogsmog

      To tell you the truth, I’ve seen more people whining about how sox fans will whine than actual sox fans whining.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        This dude’s got a point.

  • JoeyA

    A reliever out of Houston had 2 full arms covered in sunscreen while pitching in a domed stadium AT NIGHT.

    Pineda had a small patch of brown stuff on the inside of his palm?

    Obviously the discussion about this, in general, is ridiculous, but was Pineda THAT much more egregious than any of the numerous other situations?

    IMO, this is being made such a bigger deal than those other incidents bc it was a BOS/NYY game.

    • Kosmo

      if a pitcher places a dab of sunscreen lotion on his wrist and rubs it into his skin and then pats the rosin bag on top of it, the mixture will produce a sticky substance resembling what Pineda had on his wrist. This is common knowledge among pitchers.
      It is a misconception that rosin looks like talcum powder it is actually more amber in color.

    • vin

      Yeah, but Houston is going to lose 100 games in virtual obscurity.

  • The Other Matt

    No chat today Mike?

    • Mike Axisa

      No, I’m busy. I know it’s been a while. I’m planning to do one next Friday.

      • Scully
      • The Other Matt

        Alright. I know that your busy certain weeks and have other endeavors to tend to. I was just wondering. I’ll be looking forward to it.

  • gageagainstthemachine

    It’s times like these I’m glad I no longer have cable or ESPN to watch.

    • vin

      Good idea. Like an idiot, I pay for cable and don’t even watch it. ESPN is completely unwatchable.

  • Yankeefan91

    Pine Tar Absolutely does nothing to a baseball at it does it helps u grip the baseball better i would not doubt in the future they change the rule about pine tar been use for pitchers to get a grip.

    • Kosmo

      its more than likely it wasn´t pine tar but rosin mixed with sweat and/or sunscreen.

      • Yankeefan91

        yea pitchers will usually use sunscreen lotion, shampoo, shaving cream to get a better grip on baseballs. ill be worried if he was using Vaseline or any other material that’s slippery.

  • Yankeefan91
  • jjyank


    If the Red Sox didn’t have a problem with it, I don’t see why anyone else should.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      You just disrespected Jerry Remy.

  • D Braden

    From something I imagined I read it said that it was fine and there’s nothing to see here.

  • itsallhowuseeit

    geez you would think Pineda was responsible for the disappearance of Malaysian 370. This story was everywhere…pretty much espns top story all night…love how they missed the same looking substance on Clay’s forearm that MLB network showed. The real story should have been, “After 2 seasons off, Pineda shut the Red Sox down for 6 innings with a zipping fastball and a devastating slider. But of course there has to be a negative. Meanwhile David Ortiz continues on the ambassador of baseball tour, taking selfies with Obama and everyone has just forgot he was named as a known roid user along with his man boobied teammate Manny.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Apparently, useeitjustlikemicktaylor.

      It’s an easy headline. Yankees/Sox. Pitcher returns from purgatory and dominates. Hey, what’s that on his hand. It all just writes itself.

      It’ll be gone in a couple of days. No one seems to be truly biting.

      • gageagainstthemachine

        It made Huffington Post’s front page for sure. You’re right it will die down quickly, but the media sure seemed to jump on it super fast and make it a story for at least one news cycle since it was the non-stop spending (Dodgers who?) Yankees. I’m still waiting for Barbara Walters to interview David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez about his PED use. Does make you wonder how differently things would be between the Yankees and the Red Sox if ARod had gone to Boston. What a polarizing figure. So much of the Yankee hate of the last decade or so HAS TO be a result of him in pinstripes and little else. Doesn’t it?!

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’ll take that and the 27 championships any day over what any other fan of any other team goes through. I’ll take all of it. Even Kei Igawa.

          • gageagainstthemachine

            I hear ya. But man, I really dislike double standards. Even in sports. But at least double standards in sports don’t have any true outcome on my actual life… other than making me upset when people go after my favorite team I suppose.

        • ALZ

          Meh. I really don’t think it is Arod, and he really doesn’t deserve all the flak he has gotten. He has become so polarizing to people because he is on the Yankees. There are so many other players out there that get away with way more.

    • UncleArgyle

      Ortiz was a victim of a still unsolved conspiracy that spiked his protein shake with PED’s. As Ortiz clearly stated several years ago “he’s looking into it”. So just chill and wait for the wrong doer to be brought to justice rather than besmirching the reputation of BiG Papi, ok?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I get the Ortiz stuff, but I don’t see the relationship between it and Pineda other than us blowing off steam…..which is a perfectly valid reason to bust on David Ortiz. :)

        • UncleArgyle

          It really doesn’t have anything to do with Ortiz. Its just another example of the bizarre double standard that the Red Sox organizations seems to enjoy.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            How is it a double standard? Not one person in the Sox dugout has spoken against Pineda. Not one. This was one announcer. The media will pick up on anything like this because it’s a sexy story.

            Perhaps Jerry Remy has a double standard, but Jerry Remy’s integrity does not keep me up at night.

            All I care about is Pineda’s looking just as good in five days, and not pulling a Joe Niekro in the process.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              And, really, there is never not a good excuse to watch this again.


            • TWTR

              40 year old pitchers not named Nolan Ryan need every edge they can get.

            • UncleArgyle

              Don Orisllo, the NESN play by Play guy was going nuts as well. Dennis Eckersley was practically tossing chairs around the NESN studio because he was so angry during the Post Game. So no, it wasn’t one guy. Those three guys were also the three biggest defenders of Buchholz when he was accused of the same thing in Toronto, ergo, the double standard. Anyway, I agree that the Red Sox players handled the questions with class. And I also agree I’m much interested in how Pineda does in his next start. Hopefully this non story goes away very quickly.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                I just grouped them all together as “NESN Talking Head and/or Jerry Remy.” :)

                I think we’re talking about something else by Monday unless he gets bombed his next start.

                • UncleArgyle

                  Fair enough. They do all blend together lol

            • UncleArgyle

              Don Orisllo the NESN play by play guy was going nuts as well. Dennis Eckersley was practically throwing chairs around the NESN studios in the post game because he as so angry. So no, it wasn’t one announcer . Not to mention the Red Sox beat writers who must have tweeted 25000 “Pineda is cheating” blurbs during the game. Considering these are the same people who rigorously defended Clay Buchholz when he was accused of the exact same thing last year in Toronto, I’d say its pretty clear there is a double standard going on here. Anyway, hopefully this silliness will end soon

            • Steinbrennerr’s Ghost

              why didn’t the media make a big deal of Lester and Bucky cheating? In Bucky’s case, not only did they defend him, they attacked Jack Morris for pointing it out.

              let’s not pretend the general media doesn’t have it in for the team who ruins baseball using free agency and a soft spot for the gritty little bearded engine who could.

  • UncleArgyle

    Anyone else find it outrageous MLB is taking a greater interest in Pineda’s palm than they did in John Lester’s Glove during the Fricking World Series when he clearly had a Green Vasoline like substance in there? Considering the Home plate Umpire looks over every baseball after the pitch, I would assume the Ump would have spotted a lump of pine tar on the baseball. I wonder if the Sox got a similar “talking to” by Torre after the Buchotlz Toronto incident and the World Series.

  • Cuso

    Pinedagate. Sigh.

    Let’s make this a story for 6 months, huh?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I didn’t think there was a chance in hell MLB would step in, considering the only person taking umbrage here was Jerry Remy. Time to move on.

  • UncleArgyle

    Considering NESN spent the entire game talking about how Pineda was “cheating” I’m not surprised this has taken on a life of its own. Funniest part is that when Jack Morris accused Buchholz of doing the same thing, Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy, and Dennis Eckersley, all rigorously defended Buchholz and then started attacking Morris’s credibility. Then last night they all lost their shit much more than Morris ever did. Orsillo was literally talking about leaving the broadcast booth to go tell John Farrell he needed to complain to the Umpire.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It worked all the time when Gorilla Monsoon used to warn the ref about the steel chair used behind his back. Why not?

      • Steinbrennerr’s Ghost

        the problem was it was really hard to outwit Bobby the Brain Heenan.

  • Tim

    Boy Joel Sherman if he gets even a faint whiff of anything out of the ordinary he gloms on to it like a pit bull and chews it up with gusto. This was so, so, overblown, but Sherman treats it like someone raped a young child. His questions to Girardi in the presser last night, “So you’re saying under oath, that you had no knowledge of the foreign substance”? And all of his hundreds of tweets today have been about it and the reaction by MLB, etc. God almighty give it a freaking rest. This isn’t a capital crime for God’s sakes. Wow!

    • vicki

      the new york post is a scourge.

  • mustang

    I had a Sox fan friend of my text me about Pineda this morning. I told him Pineda must of picked it up from Lester and Buchholz and that was the end of that.

    Yep, that simple folks.

    Red Sox fans have such short memories or maybe its selective thinking,

    • vicki

      fans are dicks all over.

      • mustang

        I find that the “dick” level is much higher with Mets fans and Sox fans are in line with the league average.

    • Yankeefan91

      had an argument with of pair of dumbass red sox fan about the topic calling us cheaters they sure do forget quickly how lester and buchholtz were caught last year with sumtin.

  • CashmanNinja

    Pitchers always try to gain the edge. It’s a part of baseball history. We’ve all heard David Cone make remarks about how he hated when catchers would automatically give a ball in the dirt to the umpire because he wanted the ball back since there was a chance it might have a little something on it he could use. And let’s not forget about Whitey Ford. I remember hearing how he’d actually cut a groove into the ball with his wedding ring in order to get a better grip/a sharper break on his pitches. Pine tar is probably the least bit of “doctoring” a pitcher can do to a ball. I’m still not a fan of it, and I don’t condone pitchers doing it, but it isn’t the end of the world. The difference comes with simply getting a better grip. It may help location a tad thanks to the ball not slipping out too much, but it really doesn’t do anything to the velocity or break of a pitch. Pineda was good last night and it wasn’t because of pine tar. I’d be more worried if he was caught with a piece of sandpaper in his glove or vaseline on his wrist. Those would make a significantly bigger impact than mere pine tar. Plus as many of the Red Sox players said…everyone does it and they don’t see it as that big of a deal. It isn’t like a batter corking his bat or taking PEDs. It’s more like a batter using *gasp* pine tar to get a better grip on his bat because after all…doesn’t that improve bat control to a certain extent?

  • The Other Matt

    In other news, Derek Jeter is leading off tonight. Solarte batting 6th, and no Gardner and McCann.

    • mustang

      Tonight’s Yankees Lineup vs. Red Sox: 4/11/14
      By Stacey Gotsulias
      Jeter 6
      Ellsbury 8
      Beltran 9
      Soriano 0
      Cervelli 2
      Solarte 5
      Ichiro 7
      Roberts 4
      Johnson 3

      They will be facing Jon Lester. Yeah, good luck with that.

      “Yeah, good luck with that.”

      No love for Yankees today and what’s new….lol

      • mustang


        The Yankees moving up “SOLAR POWER”!

        • mustang

          Btw on Solar Power:
          Mike the other day raise the fact that Solar had a lot of “lucky” hits and last night while I was at the game I watched Solar get totally robbed of a hit is that now “bad” luck near hits?

          Point being over time players are going to have their share of each I don’t see the point of even bring it up.

          • Mr. Roth

            Over the long haul it will even out, but when there’s only been a handful of games played 5-6 lucky hits will significantly inflate a player’s numbers.
            I think that Mike was just saying that if you took a closer look at Solarte’s .550 batting average (or whatever it was at the time) you would see that the numbers weren’t really telling the real story.

            • vicki

              .550 batting averages never, ever tell the real stories.

              over his beastly first seven games all the luck presented itself for his singles. what we remain psyched about are the hard-hit doubles.

              • mustang


              • Mr. Roth

                No argument with you there.

      • The Other Matt

        I can’t lie, as well as he swung that bat in the spring, it’s a little disconcerting to see Cervelli batting fifth, even against a left hander. I honestly didn’t realize he was hitting that high when I first looked at the lineup. Hopefully he can come threw with a few good AB’s tonight, as the Yankees are really going to have to put together quality AB’s against Lester to give themselves a chance.

    • vicki

      good for joe, actually. brains and ichi v. the lefty. get to the bullpen and you’ve got outstanding bench options.

      • Mr. Roth

        Something about the nickname “Brains” seems pretty dirty.

        • vicki

          sure, now that you say it.

          (cervelli means brains in italian, you know.)

          • Mr. Roth

            I was not aware of that.

            Did you know that Milwaukee is actually pronounced “mill-e-wah-que” which is Algonquin for “the good land”, and that the French missionaries and explorers were going there as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans?

            • vicki

              rab comments. come for the squabbles, stay for the factoids.

              • Kenny

                “Factoid”? You mean it’s not true, about Milwaukee and Algonquin?

                • vicki

                  nope. i mean the less narrow, more common use of the word, as you can determine from context. though i can’t speak to the truth of sir’s comment.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    We’re missing the most obvious explanation: It was CHOCOLATE.

  • Tom

    Putting aside whether they should suspend a pitcher for using pine tar (or a rosin/sunscreen mixture), how COULD they do it in this case?

    As much as it seems like pinetar (or more likely rosin/sunscreen/water/sweat) on the video, they can’t suspend based on “well it looks like it”. Something that flimsy would surely be appealed (and won). They’d need Pineda admitting it or an ump actually checking his hand or video of him in the dugout applying it or some sort of identification that it is indeed a foreign substance. While they may not need to meet a criminal standard of proof, they surely need something more than an eyeball test.

    As was the case with Lester in the WS or Buchholz in Toronto last year, despite it being painfully obvious what they are doing, MLB needs some tangible evidence beyond an assumption of what the substance is based on what it looks like on a video. As ridiculous as the explanation sounds (“dirt” and sweat), you can’t rule it out.

    • vicki

      all true, but we don’t even need to take it that far. nobody with a brain is clamoring for suspension.

  • Mandy Stankiewicz

    When you’re pitching in the first, and you feel a sudden burst…

  • Matt Nokes

    What is everyone freaking out about? It was sweat and dirt. ;)

    • tCMiller30

      I thought it was a birth mark at first.. But when they zoomed in close, it was clear that it was just dirt.

  • Yankee$

    Lets just get one thing clear….the words: Pine. Tar. & Incident. can only refer to one event in baseball, and human history for that matter. This was an Unknown foreign substance on the pitching hand. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Wheels

    I’m glad this team isn’t a bunch of goody goods.

  • Brian

    I noticed it during the Toronto game too and nobody said a word either. It’s just the media trying to stir up the rivalry.

  • SevenAces