For second time this season, Michael Pineda made his use of an illegal, but accepted, substance obvious. Because he was so obviously using pine tar, the Red Sox had no choice but to tell the umpire to check his usage. The umpires then ejected Pineda from the game.
The ejection was not only costly for the game, but it meant that Pineda would get a ten-game suspension. During that suspension the Yankees can only have 24 players on their roster. That means they will have very little roster flexibility and a few of the older players won’t get to rest at the end of games.
For example Derek Jeter would have been out of yesterday’s game a lot earlier if Dean Anna was still on the roster. This is pretty significant considering Jeter’s age.
Generally pitchers don’t miss any games when they’re suspended, but Pineda automatically misses one. This is the biggest consequence of Pineda’s stupidity. This is pretty significant as a starter has a bigger role on any given game, than any position player.
In my opinion it’s pretty embarrassing that MLB automatically gives out 10-game suspensions for something that everyone does, and no-one cares about. The fact that people think Pineda deserves the suspension because he made it so obvious makes no sense. He deserved it for cheating, if you’re okay with pine tar, than change the rule and allow it.
The fact of the matter is pine tar is good for the game. Pitchers need a way to grip the ball in cold weather. If MLB insists on starting the season so early and ending it so late, it needs to allow the pitchers to use some substance. Hitters seem to agree with this, and after watching Felix Doubront’s and CC’s last start it’s pretty clear why. In these cold weather games, pitchers will lose the ball that can result in wild pitchers and hit batters.
That’s why I feel that MLB will eventually change it, as the rule makes no sense. Everyone in baseball seems okay with pitchers using it. Batters don’t care about, as it gives them protection against wild-pitches, and managers don’t care because their pitchers also do it.
Another thing that doesn’t make sense here, is how MLB can set a rule that this deserves a 10-game suspension, yet players get significantly less time for attacking other players. Johnny Cuetto, ended someone’s career by kicking him in the face and only got a suspension-game suspension. And that’s one of the longer extensions players receive for fighting, or purposely throwing at someone.
It’s about time MLB got together and talked about how to actually deal with suspensions, as it isn’t fair that Pineda is missing more games for getting a grip on a baseball, than a guy like Ryan Dempster gets for purposely throwing at a player.
There is however one bright side to this suspension, and that is that the Yankees have found a way to limit Pineda’s innings without cutting him off in September. This suspension may actually help Pineda and the Yankees in the long run, especially if it allows him to pitch without any limitations in the playoffs.
But for now the Yankees are without one of their best pitchers. Hopefully Pineda learnt his lesson, which apparently is that if you’re going to cheat be good at it. After all, the only reason people are complaining is that he made it too obvious. No one actually cares about pine tar.