Everyone seems to be talking about what appeared to be pine tar on New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda‘s hand tonight as he threw six innings and struck out seven Boston Red Sox. Although that is clearly cheating and shouldn’t be tolerated, stunts like this aren’t common in the game; most players are just better at hiding it than Pineda is.
Pitchers are always looking for borderline illegal ways to gain advantages. Historically, they have gone from the spit ball, to the shine ball, to the emory ball and so on. Had the umpires noticed what seemingly everyone else in the country did, Pineda probably would have been ejected from the game. However, they didn’t and he continued to pitch the game unpunished.
The former promising young star hasn’t pitched in almost two years, and it’s disappointing that he may have been trying to gain an illegal edge. There’s no doubt the league will take a look at the footage and see if any further action is required in terms of discipline.
Surely, pitchers use substances such as pine tar on their hats all the time in order to gain an edge, but they don’t rub it all over their hand as it appears Pineda did tonight. Apparently, the old adage “it’s only cheating if you get caught” is pretty applicable to pitching rules in the major leagues.
What happens to Pineda as a result of tonight’s game remains to be seen, but the league will be cracking down on pitchers trying to gain an unfair advantage as they move forward.