Friday, April 11, 2014

My Reaction to Michael Pineda & Pine Tar

There are three main reasons why I'm not at all worked up about Michael Pineda allegedly using pine tar in last night's game...

  1. Hitters use it, too. They might not be able to put pine tar on their bats up high enough to gain that big an advantage, but you can't tell me that being able to grip the bat better doesn't help them hit better. And that's all pitchers do with pine tar... help grip the ball better. That grip may help them throw the ball a bit harder, or give their breaking balls a bit more bite, but pine tar doesn't turn a journeyman pitcher into a Cy Young Award candidate.
  2. Speaking of pitchers using pine tar, notice that I didn't call out anybody specifically. While some Yankees fans have made it a point to bring up Jon Lester, and his alleged use of pine tar in the 2013 postseason, I don't see the point in doing that. It's like the usage of PEDs... it's everywhere. No, that doesn't mean everybody is using it, but it's so wide spread that it's impossible to create a list of those that do use it and those that don't use it.
  3. Not a single player, coach, or front office employee for the Red Sox has said they're upset about it. David Ortiz, himself, has gone on record as saying it's not a big deal. And from what I've read, they knew it was going on during the game, and didn't say anything to the umpires. Whether that means they have pitchers using pine tar as well, and don't want the umpires or others punishing them, or that they simply don't care about it, or unknown. But if those that were victims of the alleged cheating don't care, then why in the World should anybody else?

Someone pointed out to me that the Yankees are the class of baseball, and one of the biggest sports franchises in the World. For that reason they should hold themselves up to a higher standard, and not do what Joe Girardi did and brush off the topic. Furthermore, Major League Baseball should take this opportunity to make an example of Michael Pineda and the Yankees, and hand down some big-time fines and/or suspensions.

And you know what... I agree.

Suspending and/or fining Michael Pineda, Joe Girardi, and the New York Yankees for breaking this rule would do a lot more to bring attention to the issue of cheating, rather than doing the same to Scott Feldman, Bo Porter, and the Houston Astros*. And if that's what Bud Selig wants to do... then so be it.

*It should go without saying, but I am in no way accusing Feldman, Porter, or the Astros of doing anything wrong. It's simply an example of a lower profile player, manager, and organization.

Just don't make this into a Yankees issue. All the Yankee hate can get very tiring to die-hard fans such as myself, but it comes with the territory. I've accepted it, which is why I've embraced the "Evil Empire" moniker. But that doesn't mean I'm going to sit here and keep my mouth shut when the team is unfairly criticized like they are today.

By the way, if Major League Baseball did decide to fine and/or suspend Pineda, Girardi, and the Yankees for what happened last night, then you can be damn sure that I'm going to be taking full advantage of my HD television, as well as every close-up view at my disposal, to make sure MLB does the same thing to every other team and player.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)