The Michael Pineda saga has taught us many things – two above all else. One, there is rampant cheating in Major League Baseball, and two, MLB probably isn’t going to do anything about it
While we’re at it, let’s add a third thing to the mix: We seem to be okay with that.
“I don’t think you have to change much,” WFAN Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti said on The Damon Amendolara Show. “Remember: It took hundreds of blown calls by umpires for us to finally get to a point where we (said), ‘You know what? I think we need replay.’ One pitcher can’t adhere to the rule the same way the other guys do and all of a sudden (people are saying), ‘Oh, we got to change the rule.’ No. Everybody seems to be fine doing it the way (it’s been done). Hide it in your glove, put it in your belt, put it in your cap. Just use a little bit.”
Seeing as how so many pitchers use pine tar, many people say MLB should just make it legal. Murti disagrees.
“Well, if you say pine tar is legal, all of a sudden it’s okay to have this big glop on your neck,” he said. “It’s okay to have it on your hands and on your wrist. That’s not what you want. You just want it to be the way it was before Michael Pineda took the mound two weeks ago. That’s all. I don’t think you need to change the rule because one guy can’t follow the rule.”
Pineda received a 10-game suspension for violating MLB rule 8.02, which states that you cannot apply a foreign substance to the baseball. Pineda will likely miss one start due to the suspension.
Murti felt the punishment fit the crime.
“Yeah, I mean, I think it’s in line with whatever other punishments they’ve handed out with this over years, and the 10 games seems to be reasonable,” Murti said. “It’s just funny watching the way this happened. He got caught violating the unwritten rule – not the written rule. The written rule is something everybody violates, but it was just so blatantly obvious – and John Farrell was almost apologetic (for getting Pineda ejected).”
Pineda, 25, was ejected in the second inning of the Yankees’ 5-1 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday. After a 30-pitch first inning in which he lacked control, Pineda emerged for the second inning with pine tar smeared across his neck.
The crazy thing is, he almost got away with it – again.
“He pitched to two batters and was a strike away from getting the third guy out,” Murti explained. “If he gets that third batter of that inning on one or two pitches even, he goes back to the dugout and the Yankees say, ‘Whoa, wait a second. Get that stuff off your neck.’ So it’s really the way he violated the rule – as opposed to violating it at all.”
The Yankees apparently told Pineda after the first incident – a 4-1 Yankees win on April 10 – to be more discreet about using pine tar. Pineda clearly didn’t listen.
“The Red Sox didn’t catch Michael Pineda last time,” Murti continued. “The video showed it was on his hand, and the very next inning it was gone. The Yankees saw it, had him take it off and it was gone. The Red Sox couldn’t catch him the last time. Here it was again. Pineda just didn’t get the message.”