NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Michael Pineda will likely miss two starts after Major League Baseball suspended him 10 games for his role in the pine tar incident at Fenway Park in Boston on Wednesday night.
Pineda was ejected in the second inning of the Yankees’ eventual 5-1 loss after Red Sox manager John Farrell complained to the umpires that Pineda was using the sticky substance.
Home plate umpire Gerry Davis examined Pineda’s glove, hat, uniform and, ultimately, his neck, where pine tar was found. The 25-year-old right-hander was promptly ejected.
According to multiple reports, Pineda will be paid while he sits out and will not be fined. Pineda told reporters he will not appeal the suspension.
“I accept it,” Pineda said before Thursday night’s game at Fenway Park. “I know I made a mistake.”
“I feel so bad,” he added.
Pineda will next be eligible to play on May 5 against the Angels in Los Angeles. Until then, however, the Yankees will be forced to play with just 24 players on their roster.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, a guest on WFAN host Mike Francesa’s show on Thursday evening, reiterated what he said Wednesday night — that he and his coaches had no idea Pineda had put pine tar on his neck.
“There was nothing on him in the first inning and believe me if we would have noticed it and saw him walking out there with it we would have grabbed him. We would have been fools to not to,” Girardi said.
“We cover all of our bases and we are very thorough here,” he added. “The competition got to him. He wanted to compete. He felt the ball was slippery, and I think the competition got the best of the kid.”
Pineda’s suspension length seems to jive with other recent bans involving use of pine tar. Tampa Bay’s Joel Peralta was penalized eight games in 2012, the Los Angeles Angels’ Brendan Donnelly 10 days in 2005 and St. Louis’ Julian Tavarez 10 days in 2004. The suspensions of Donnelly and Tavarez were cut to eight days after they asked the players’ association to appeal.
Pineda spoke quietly to the media after Wednesday night’s game. And less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, he vowed never to do it again.
“I’ll learn from this mistake,” a contrite Pineda said. “It won’t happen again.”
Pineda said he had trouble gripping the ball on the cool evening when he allowed two runs in the first inning. So before he took the mound for the second, he said, he rubbed pine tar on the right side of his neck.
“I don’t feel the ball,” he said. “I don’t want to hit anybody.”
One small problem: Rule 8.02(b). Written to keep pitchers from altering the ball to gain an unfair advantage, it prohibits them from having a foreign substance on them or in their possession on the mound and says that they’ll be suspended if they do.
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