Yankees’ Pineda tossed for pine tar on his neck
Seattle Times news services
BOSTON — Michael Pineda, the New York Yankees pitcher who denied using pine tar on his hand during a game against the Boston Red Sox on April 10, was ejected from Wednesday’s game against Boston for having pine tar on his neck.
Pitchers are not allowed to put a foreign substance on the ball and can face suspension for violating the rule. Nevertheless, pitchers have long used various substances to help them get a better grip in cold weather. It was 50 degrees with a stiff wind at first pitch at Fenway Park.
Pineda struggled through a two-run first inning, and when he came out for the second, television close-ups showed a substance on the right side of his neck. After he recorded two outs and Grady Sizemore was at the plate, Red Sox manager John Farrell emerged from the dugout and requested that Gerry Davis, the home-plate umpire, inspect Pineda.
Davis went to the mound, briefly searched Pineda’s back and then dabbed his neck with his index finger. Some of the substance came off, and Davis could be seen saying, “That’s pine tar.” He ejected Pineda.
“When it’s that obvious, something has got to be said,” Farrell said. “Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past.”
• Former NBA star Tracy McGrady has made the opening-day roster of the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters as a pitcher. “It’s an honor to be a part of this club,” the 6-foot-8 right-handed McGrady said in a statement released by the team, which plays in the independent Atlantic League. “To be a part of the team means everything to me and it’s a dream come true.”