Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Yankees starter Michael Pineda will be suspended 10-games after umpires found pine tar on his neck last night in the Bombers’ 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, prompting an immediate ejection from the game in just the 2nd inning.
Pineda told reporters before Thursday night’s game in Boston that he won’t appeal the suspension. He’ll only have to miss one start since the Yanks can just skip over his next start with an off-day coming up on Monday.
“It was a really cold night, and in the first inning I [couldn't] feel the ball,” Pineda said after the game last night, saying that he didn’t use it to cheat, but to get a better grip on the baseball. “I don’t want to like, hit anybody, so I decided to use it.”
Pineda didn’t have any pine tar on his during the 1st inning of the game, in which he gave up two runs on four hits, but came back out to the mound in the 2nd inning sporting the goop. Because it was too noticeable to look the other way from, Red Sox manager John Farrell alerted home plate umpire Garry Davis, who then check Pineda and tossed him from the game.
“I fully respect that on a cold night you’re trying to get a grip, but when it’s that obvious something has got to be said,” Farrell said.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said afterwards that the situation “embarrassed” the entire organization, especially after the Yankees have already had to talk with him once before about the pine tar following his last start against the Sox almost two weeks ago when TV cameras first spotted the substance on his right hand.
“I think we’re all embarrassed,” Cashman said. “We as a group are embarrassed that this has taken place. I think Michael is embarrassed. It’s just obviously a bad situation, and it clearly forced the opponents’ hand to do something that I’m sure they didn’t want to do but they had no choice but to do. Obviously we’ll deal with the ramifications of that now.”
Because of the suspension, the Yankees will only be able to play with 24 players over the next 10 games, leaving them shorthanded for tonight and throughout their nine-game home stand, which starts tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Angels.