I will never not laugh at this scene. You know the story, Yankees and Red Sox were playing back in 2014 when John Farrell came out of the dugout to ask the umpire to check Yankees pitcher, Michael Pineda for a banned substance. There were some antics like this in a game between the same 2 earlier that year where it appeared that Pineda had pine tar on his hand, but he cleaned it off before anyone could ask the umps to take a look.
Farrell has a quick chat with the home plate umpire which leads to the ump making his way out to the mound for a little visit. Derek Jeter, Tex, everyone is out there with the umps as they look at Pineda’s hands, arms, glove, uniform, but they can’t find anything. If you were watching on TV, it was clear as day. A big old glob of pine tar right there on Pineda’s neck, it’s like he wasn’t even trying to hide it. Umpire sticks a finger in it, smells it, and tosses him. No one on the Yankees side says a word because everyone knew what he was doing. He put his head down and hit the showers.
Like Michael Kay was saying, on those cold nights, pitchers are looking for any way to get a grip on the ball. Those early April nights are freezing, the balls are insanely slick, and you can’t feel your fingers, why not let the pitchers use some sort of substance that isn’t the rosin bag to get a grip on a pitch? Make it like licking your fingers, you can’t do it unless its under a certain temperature. Not enough to really make the pitch move, but just enough to let the pitchers grip it. Every team in baseball does this, and every manager knows it’s going on, thats why no one from the Yanks side or dugout said anything. I mean, look at every pitcher’s hat with the stains on it, that ain’t all sweat, hon. Every pitcher is always touching or rubbing his forearm, wrist, belt, under the bill of the hat. There’s either pine tar, sun screen, something to help them get a better grip. I get why you want them to not have it on their hands cuz it could make some pitches move, but for the most part, it’s safety. Pineda was just an idiot the way he went about it, but it was still pretty damn funny.
Some even called him “Michael PINEada”, get it? Cuz the pine tar?
PS. There is only 1 pitcher in history that has never needed pine tar to get a better grip on the ball, because he was just THAT good. You know who I’m talking about.