BOSTON — New York Yankees starter Michael Pineda made a head-scratching decision Wednesday.
Pineda, who already was under a watchful eye because of his pine tar antics against Boston on April 10, placed pine tar on his neck before the second inning of Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees game. The pine tar soon was discovered by Red Sox manager John Farrell, who informed home plate umpire Gerry Davis, and the right-hander was ejected for what can only be described as a dumb move.
“He made poor judgment tonight. He’ll admit to that,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the Red Sox’s 5-1 win. “But I think you can look at everyone in that room and everyone in this room, we have not always made the best decisions in our life and, you learn from them.”
Pineda, who confessed after the game, said he indeed will look to learn from Wednesday’s incident, which he admitted was a product of his own wrongdoing. The 25-year-old said he wanted to gain a better grip on the baseball, although he clearly pushed the envelope too far — or at least too blatantly — by placing a foreign substance where everyone could see it.
“I apologize to my teammates because you know I put all the relievers in a bad (spot), so I apologize to my teammates and everybody,” Pineda said. “I feel so sad.”
Girardi said he did not talk to Pineda immediately following the ejection because he still needed to manage Wednesday’s game. But the Yankees skipper ensured the pitcher he’ll get past this “little bump” and return to the mound before long — likely after a suspension.
“I mean, it’s a young kid. I don’t think he’s trying to do anything to cheat, I think he’s trying to just go out there and compete,” Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate it happened, but like I said we’ll deal with it (and) we’ll get through this. It’s a little bump in the road, and we’ll be all right.
“I’m not going to get mad at him. The kid’s doing the best he can, he’s trying to compete, and that’s what he’s trying to do,” Girardi added. “I don’t think he’s trying to get an edge on anyone. He’s a young man that’s been through a lot, been through a lot of rehab and has worked his tail end to get off to this start and he made an error in judgment.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said after Wednesday’s game that the organization is “embarrassed” by Wednesday’s incident and that the Red Sox were well within their rights to inform the umpire upon noticing the smudge on Pineda’s neck.