Michael Pineida won’t be inducted into the Lance Armstrong-Al Davis Cheaters Hall of Fame anytime soon. Pine tar’s become use has succinctly become an acceptable substance for pitchers to use on a cold night to improve grip and control. Hitters don’t complain because they don’t want to get plunked by a wild pitch. During the fourth inning of last night’s win over the Red Sox, Pineida was spotted with what appeared to be pine tar shining underneath Yankee Stadium’s bright lights.
Besides, unlike Davis and Armstong, Pineida is a mediocre liar. When asked to identify what the brown goo on his hand was afterwards, Pineida came up with the most unimaginative answer possible.
"I don't use pine tar. It's dirt."
Personally, I would have told the media it was just CC Sabathia’s famous clubhouse barbecue sauce. Since last night, screenshots of Pineida's hand during his previous Yankees start in Toronto. Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was dismissive of Pineida’s potential pine tar use.
“Everybody uses pine tar in the league,” Ortiz said. “It’s not a big deal.”
Last year, Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz claimed that at least 90 percent of all pitchers use some sort of spray-on sunscreen, even during night games, and combine it with powdered rosin.
MLB’s Rule 8.02, Section 4, which states that “The pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball,” has become a vestigial rule. However, Pineida has to be a little more subtle with a more omnipotent media presence surrounding baseball players in the 21st century.