In Thursday night's Red Sox-Yankees game, TV cameras caught Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda with a sticky brown substance on his hand that looked a lot like illegal pine tar. Normally, that would be cause to get the pitcher thrown out of the game and probably suspended, but the Red Sox not only didn't speak up, they seemed surprisingly okay with the cheating.
That pine tar-like gunk on Pineda's hand was noticeable to all watching the game.
Pinhead Pinetargate https://t.co/0HCW0HdOVf— Steve Silva (@stevesilva) April 11, 2014
Using pine tar allows pitchers to have a better grip of the ball, but it is deemed an illegal "foreign substance" by baseball's rules. And perhaps buoyed by that pine tar, Pineda held Boston without a hit for the first four innings. He came back out for the fifth inning without the brown smudge and promptly gave up the first hit of the night.
After the game, Pineda denied that the substance was pine tar. "It's dirt. Between the innings, I'm sweating too much, my hand. I'm putting dirt - I'm grasping the dirt. ... I'm not using pine tar," he said. Not many people are buying that explanation.