BOSTON — New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who was sitting in the stands, wasn’t happy when his phone rang and the person on the other end pointed out pitcher Michael Pineda’s obvious pine tar use. He wasn’t too pleased after the game, either.
Pineda was ejected in the second inning of Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway Park for having pine tar on his neck. Cashman said after the game that the Yankees organization couldn’t help but be “embarrassed” by the incident.
“I think we’re all embarrassed. We as a group are embarrassed that this has taken place,” Cashman told reporters at Fenway. “I think Michael’s embarrassed. I think we’re embarrassed that somehow he took the field with that in the position like that. It’s just obviously a bad situation, and it clearly forced the opponents’ hand to do something that I’m sure they didn’t want to do, but they had no choice but to do. Obviously, we’ll deal with the ramifications of that now.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell noticed the pine tar on Pineda’s neck in the second inning Wednesday, at which point he asked home plate umpire Gerry Davis to check the right-hander. Davis discovered the pine tar and promptly ejected Pineda, forcing the Yankees to turn to their bullpen early.
“We certainly are responsible, and there’s certainly failure on our part as an organization as a whole that he took the field in the second inning with that on his neck,” Cashman said. “He’s responsible for his actions, but we failed as an organization for somehow him being in that position. I don’t know how, none of us right now, we’re scratching our head right now, how that took place.”
Pineda, who confessed after the game, likely faces a suspension, especially since he was questioned following his April 10 start against Boston for allegedly using a foreign substance on his pitching hand.
“There have been enough conversations (with Pineda),” Cashman said Wednesday. “And obviously there will be more now, or there have already been more now, even in-game when he was ejected from the game. I think after the last go-around with the same team, clearly, there were a lot of conversations about this. There are no secrets there.”
Everyone, including the Red Sox, entered Wednesday’s game with a heightened awareness that Pineda, theoretically, could try something. It didn’t stop the 25-year-old hurler from bending the rules, though, and he and the Yankees must now face the consequences.