NEW YORK — Yankees manager Joe Girardi insists he never has questioned pitchers regarding the use of pine tar or other foreign substances. He’s not about to start now.
Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was scrutinized Thursday for using what appeared to be pine tar on his throwing hand during his start against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Pineda said after Thursday’s game the substance was just “dirt,” and Girardi, among others, sounds ready to turn the page.
“I’m aware of things. This is something you could probably go back 50 years ago or 80 years ago and you could probably go out and question people,” Girardi told reporters Friday at Yankee Stadium. “It’s nothing I’ve ever done.”
The Pineda controversy kicked off a social media firestorm during Thursday’s game, but even the Red Sox, who chose not to intervene, downplayed the alleged goop’s significance. Such substances sometimes are used for grip — although not so blatantly — and no one in either clubhouse seems to be making a big deal about Thursday’s events.
“I don’t talk to pitchers about that: ‘Do you use or don’t you use?’ This is not a recreational drug,” Girardi said Friday. “I don’t talk to people about that. I’m aware. I’ve been on teams where I’ve seen it. I’m 99 percent sure that I know of other guys on other teams that use it. I just haven’t said anything. Will we talk to Michael? If we did, I wouldn’t tell you anyway.”
Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, said Friday the league has no plans to suspend Pineda.