April 10, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) throws during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Michael Pineda and "Goo Gate" are the norm

The big flap today isn’t so much about how the Boston Red Sox were dominated last evening by New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda. It’s all about the “stuff”. And I don’t mean pitch-wise, I mean gunk-wise. Goo-wise.

There are numerous images and videos available from last night’s game – you can ever so slightly make out something on Pineda’s pitching hand in the image above – that clearly reveal that Pineda had some substance on his hand and forearm. After his gem, Pineda told everyone that was willing to listen that the substance was dirt. When pressed during a postgame press gathering, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he was unaware of the substance. Red Sox skipper John Farrell noted he didn’t know anything about it until the game’s 4th inning.

But nothing was said. By anyone. And all commenting parties may have well been privy to the substance’s existence. Does it matter if they did? Most likely, the answer is no.

In a fantastic and divulging read by Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Red Sox pitcher Chris Capuano opens our eyes to this situation.

All of us, especially when it’s cold early in the season, all of us use something…I’ve got no problem with that. You’ve got to have a grip on the baseball…and know where it’s going. I just think you don’t want to flaunt it. When you’ve got goops of pine tar on your hand our glove, and (it’s) really obvious, I think that’s maybe going over the line a little bit.

“The ball moves because of how fast it spins. I don’t have a problem with the concept of getting a good grip on the ball. I just think you need to clean it up a little, so it’s not so obvious.”

Farrell might not have said anything even if he did know. Recall that last season, two of Farrell’s pitchers (Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester) were outted for such acts. I guess the fact this was a Yankees pitcher doing the deal didn’t sit well some members of Red Sox Nation and possibly provoked this tweet…

A pitcher applying any substance on the ball is a direct violation of Rule 8.02(3) which says a pitcher cannot apply a foreign substance to a baseball. This is often overlooked (by the teams anyway) because the thought is that it is more important for a pitcher to maintain a grip on the ball and have some semblance of where the pitch is going. No grip leads to an even further lack of control, and thus, creating a potentially dangerous situation.

But as Campuano also says, “But in my mind there is a difference between doctoring the ball to make it so something funny, versus to get a grip.”

And the umps won’t enforce the rule if there are not aware of the substance. They would have to be notified or see the substance themselves in order to address the situation.

Or could they be aware of such, too?

So, now that this is all out of the way…

UPDATE: Another tweet from Pete Abraham…

Tags: Michael Pineda New York Yankees

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