BOSTON - Michael Pineda's brazenness Wednesday night in putting pine tar on his person for all to see came as a surprise. Major League Baseball's response was not.
Not taking very long to weigh in with its verdict, MLB handed Pineda a 10-game suspension Thursday for "possessing a foreign substance'' during the Yankees' 5-1 loss. Pineda, who had pine tar clearly visible on the right side of his neck, was ejected by plate umpire Gerry Davis with two outs in the second.
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"I feel so bad, but this is the baseball rule,'' said Pineda, who will not appeal, will not lose any pay and will not be fined. "I accept it because I know I made a mistake. I've apologized to everybody.''
General manager Brian Cashman, who after Wednesday night's game said the organization was "embarrassed'' by what happened, called the suspension "appropriate and expected.''
The suspension is not as severe as it sounds. With an off day Monday, the Yankees can manipulate the rotation so Pineda misses only one start. He could return to the mound May 5 against the Angels in Anaheim. Joe Girardi said David Phelps likely will make the start that Pineda misses.
Before Thursday night's game, Girardi was peppered with questions regarding discussions he and his coaching staff had with Pineda after April 10, when he had an obvious smear of pine tar on his right hand pitching against the Red Sox.
Girardi would not say whether a translator was used in those discussions with Pineda. "My coaching staff, the front office, myself, we're very thorough,'' he said. "We make sure when we need to get a message across, there's nothing lost in translation.''
Said Cashman: "The message got through. I've talked to his teammates, I've talked to him, I've talked to our coaches -- some of which speak Spanish -- the message got through.''
Not well enough the first time, apparently. This time, maybe. Said Pineda: "I'm not going to do it again.''
Pineda told the media Thursday that he knew he could get into trouble if caught again with the substance and that it simply was a matter of getting a better grip on a cold night.
Red Sox manager John Farrell did not make an issue of Pineda's pine tar use on April 10, but he felt he had no choice but to do something Wednesday night. "No reaction if it was too few or too many,'' he said of the suspension. "I think when a player goes down that path, you're assuming the potential consequence, and that's what's been handed down.''
With David Lennon