MLB doesn't plan to discipline Michael Pineda
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A day after television cameras spotted a brownish substance on Michael Pineda's pitching hand, Major League Baseball, the Yankees and even the Red Sox were more or less unconcerned with the possibility that he used a foreign substance to increase his grip in the early-April chill.
Pineda was seen with the substance on the palm of his pitching hand in what turned out to be a six-inning, seven-strikeout performance in a 4-1 win over the Red Sox. Pineda said after the game that it was a combination of sweat and dirt.
MLB is not planning to discipline Pineda. "The umpires did not observe an application of a foreign substance during the game and the issue was not raised by the Red Sox," MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre said in a statement. "Given those circumstances, there are no plans to issue a suspension, but we intend to talk to the Yankees regarding what occurred."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Torre did indeed call him before Friday night's game and that the two had "a conversation" that he wouldn't categorize.
"It's a resolved issue," Cashman said. "It's kind of [a non-issue], to be honest.
"If I need to put signs that employees must wash their hands, like you see in restaurants, if that'll make everyone feel better, then we'll play around with that, but otherwise, it's not an issue."
Cashman said he knew little about the photographs that show a similar substance on Pineda's hands during a game against Toronto -- which, as in Thursday night's game, Pineda attributed to sweat and dirt.
MLB rules say a pitcher cannot apply a foreign substance to the ball or have it on his person while pitching. A violation is cause for immediate expulsion from the game and suspension.
"In conditions like we're dealing with now, the coldness, guys are just trying to get a grip," Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Friday night's game. "And I think it's somewhat accepted to a certain level . . . You'd like to think he'd be a little more discreet."
Cashman and manager Joe Girardi said they had no plans to talk to Pineda, with Girardi adding that he doesn't "talk to pitchers about that."
He added: "Do you use or don't you use? This is not a recreational drug, so 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 that use it and I just haven't said anything. Will we talk to Michael? If we did, I wouldn't tell you, anyway."
Pineda cut interviews short before Friday night's game and often seemed flustered when asked about the incident.
When asked if he had something on his hand, Pineda said "No." He then reiterated what he said after Thursday night's game. "I'm sweating with my hands and I'm putting dirt," he said.
As for MLB having a talk with the Yankees, Pineda said he was unaware of it.
"No one told me anything," he said. "I came here early to do my work and nobody said nothing to me."