Michael Pineda looked like the answer for the Yankees.
After dominating the Cubs last week, it made sense that the Yankees were excited to have both Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka at the top of the lineup.
But then the Pine Tar incident happened.
Pineda came out in the second inning of last night’s game against the Red Sox with pine tar clearly on his neck. When the Red Sox complained, he was examined and then tossed out of the game.
“It was cold and I didn’t want to hit anybody,’’ said Pineda, who gave up four hits and two runs in the first inning without the pine tar stuck to his neck. “I wanted to feel good and make good pitches. I didn’t feel the ball and I didn’t want to hit anybody.’’
Does everyone use pine tar when it’s cold? No. Of course not. You probably can find some sports books, especially MyTopSportsBooks.com that would put odds on it.
Two weeks ago, he was caught on camera with it on his hand. The Sox said nothing. And then last night happened.
You have to wonder if this is standard operating procedure for Pineda, who spent his first two seasons as a Yankee on the disabled list after being acquired by the Mariners.
“We, as a group, are embarrassed this took place,’’ general manager Cashman said. “Obviously, we will deal with the ramifications. I would want my manager to do what John Farrell did. Obviously this is a terrible situation. We all have ownership.’’
Pineda will be suspended at least for one start, maybe two. But there may be future ramifications as well.
He will now be branded as a cheater, who forever be questioned if there’s a good outing, especially if it’s cold.
And if the Yankees make the post-season, will that cause problems when the weather is like it was last night?
“I believe he can pitch without it,’’ Girardi said.
Sure, it’s a long season, but you have to wonder.