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Man, what an idiot.
Pineda could face a suspension from Major League Baseball, especially since Joe Torre, MLB’s VP of baseball operations, talked to Yankee GM Brian Cashman after Pineda was spotted with a similar substance on his palm during his last start against the Red Sox on April 10.
Hope the Sox starters are happy staying off the tar for the next few series against the Yanks.
A little pine tar never hurt anyone, whether it’s a hitter trying to get a good grip on his bat or a pitcher using a little to grip a baseball, especially in a climate like Colorado. What we’ve come to find is teams don’t care about pine tar or rosin. The only thing they would have a problem with is baby oil or Vaseline or something that creates more movement in pitches.
Pine tar’s illegal. This is why you can’t admit you had pine tar on your hand. So the question “was he cheating?” is clearly yes. There have been many pitchers tossed out of games for having pine tar on their person.
But use of pine tar by pitchers is more of a long-tolerated practice, as long as they’re using it to get a better grip on the ball.
If Rogers was only using it to get a better grip in what were clearly difficult conditions to pitch in, this might be nit-picky. But LaRussa said his hitters complained of unusual movement. How would that have worked?
Any foreign substance on the ball affects its flight. A strategic scratch or artifically smooth surface (say, by coating the leather with Vaseline) can make the ball move a great deal. If you scuff a ball on the side and throw a normal fastball, the ball will move away from the scuffed side as it approaches the batter. This is the complaint of the Cardinal hitters: that Rogers was putting enough pine tar on the ball that it was moving more than it should have given a natural delivery.
I’ll argue the con side: if Rogers is doctoring balls, he can do it using clear substances, and he can better conceal them, or if he’s scuffing or trying to create more air resistance on one side by loading it with tar, there are a lot better, sneakier ways to go about this (there’s a huge section on this in the book, by the way). Running around with a big smear of pine tar on his hand is just asking to be caught.
The most likely explanation here is that Rogers was using pine tar to get a better grip on the ball in the poor conditions, and went without (or went to something else) after the umpires told him to clean it off. That’s not a huge deal, and certainly not enough to make his performance less impressive.
He was just taking the Wu-Tang Clan's advice.
While I agree that the Clan ain't nothing to #### with, I'm not sure how that's applicable to this particular situation.
A) rosin is legal and pine tar isn't
And for the record, I also think people DO care about players who used the "only used it to recover" line - think of Andy Pettitte's reputation after revealing he used HGH for a bit versus, I don't know, Jason Giambi.
Of course it's cheating. It's pretty clear in the rules about foreign substances being on the ball.
10-game autosuspension for this, right?
Maybe they should change the rule and allow the use of pine tar on days where the temperature or wind chill is under 50 degrees.
and this is the reason for the pedantry. 8.02(b) carries an automatic suspension, whereas 8.02(a) does not. (In the minors it's an automatic 10-game suspension. In the majors the suspension is not necessarily 10 games.)
Wind chill is a human phenomenon/measurement. It measures what the temperature "feels" like to a human in certain conditions. It has no relevance to an inanimate object. Besides, the issue is how dry the ball is which is affected by the humidity. What you need is some measure of the humidity including some factor for how much faster the wind may dry out the ball.
10 games means he misses one start and has his second start pushed out 1 game.
One wonders how common using pine tar, at least a bit, really is, besides just all this anecdotal evidence - because if Pineda's first inning was any indication, it suggests that without pine tar, he will be incredibly, or at least significantly more, ineffective in ANY cold weather situation, and surely Pineda is not in the minority in that regard. I don't want the fact that it's cold suddenly to mean that half of the pitchers in the league completely lose their effectiveness. That would be boring and uncompetitive. If that's the cost, pine tar away.
Actually, I honestly wouldn't be opposed to allowing spitballs.
Terry Forster solved this by always having some maple syrup somewhere on his person.
Has there been any public comment since the game from Girardi or the Yankees?
“We’re scratching our head right now how that actually took place,” an exasperated Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, said after his team had lost, 5-1, at Fenway Park. “Clearly what took place in the second inning should not have taken place.”
“We are all embarrassed this has taken place,” Cashman said. “I think Michael is embarrassed, and we are embarrassed that somehow he took the field like that. It’s just a bad situation and clearly forced the opponent’s hand to do something I’m sure they didn’t want to do, but they had no choice but to do.”
Girardi said he could not blame Farrell for calling the substance to the umpire’s attention, and Cashman said he would want Girardi to do the same in a similar situation.
“He made an error in judgment,” Girardi said of Pineda, “and he’ll admit to that.”
Rothschild said he spoke to Pineda after the April 10 incident. Asked if he could have helped Pineda deal with the slippery ball in a different manner, Rothschild said, “What, you want me to show him how to cheat better?”
"I'm not going to get mad at him," Girardi said. "The kid's doing the best he can, he's trying to compete. He feels bad, he feels like he let his teammates down. But as I said to Michael, 'Hey, this is a little bump, we'll get through this, we'll find a way to get through this and you'll be back pitching before you know it.'"
Or they could simply amend their rules to allow pitchers to use pine tar, which apparently is what most of them already do when it becomes too cold for resin to be effective. But I guess that would be giving in to terrorists or something.
And yet if you believe nearly all the comments that were made in the aftermath of the first Pineda incident, the only apparent difference between Pineda this time and the vast majority of pitchers is that he was caught.
When pitching for the Mariners against the Royals on Sept. 30, 1980, Honeycutt taped a thumbtack to his finger to cut the ball. Willie Wilson, after hitting a double, spotted the tack from second base. When the umps came out to have a look, they not only found the tack, but also a gash in Honeycutt's forehead -- he had rubbed his face absentmindedly, almost poking his eye out in the process.
"I should have known right then that it wasn't going to work," he later said. "It didn't do anything for me. I didn't know what I was doing at the time. I only did it once and I did it badly and got caught at it. I was really struggling at the time. We were getting ready to go out onto the field, and I passed a bulletin board and there was a tack in it. I put it on the middle finger of my glove hand." Honeycutt was ejected, suspended for 10 games, and fined $250.
In Japan, a new baseball is a thing of beauty, honoring the country's regard for packaging aesthetics as well as the sport. Each ball is wrapped in a shiny square of silver foil, which preserves the leather's tackiness. Unlike major league baseballs, which need to be rubbed with a special mud to be deemed game-ready, a Japanese baseball is used immediately after it is unpackaged. It is a man-made pearl. Its built-in tackiness plays to the high art of pitching—the veneration of touch, feel and spin and those who master the craft.
Players suspended for having a foreign substance/doctoring the ball:
Why is Pineda an "idiot" as opposed to a cheater?
The team captain has nothing to say about Piñeda's actions? Funny that.
Wouldn't the best solution to the whole grip issue be to rub the balls down with some kind of slightly tacky substance instead of mud? Then they could strictly police foreign substances since nobody would have an excuse for using them anymore. That seems like a far better solution than sticking a pine tar rag on the mound.
Dumb physics question; would this have the effect of reducing offense?
I also loved the way he dropped the ball on several opportunities for easy outs.
Which, of course, drives the point home that steroids wasn't about "cheating" at all but was about records and holier than thou moral outrage.
If MLB wants me to take the PED issue seriously
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