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Friday, April 11, 2014
MLB: No plans to punish Pineda

ESPN.com news services

Major League Baseball will not suspend New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda for having what appeared to be pine tar on his right hand during the early innings of Thursday night's game against the Boston Red Sox.

Michael Pineda
Michael Pineda pitched four innings with a dark substance on the lower palm of his pitching hand.

"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 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."

Television broadcasts of the game first showed the substance on Pineda's throwing hand in the early innings, but his hand appeared to be wiped clean by the fifth.

"A foreign substance is illegal, but by the time we became aware of it, it was gone," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game.

When Pineda came out for the fifth inning, Farrell said, it appeared the pitcher's hand had been cleaned, so he never brought it to the attention of the umpires.

Pineda led the Yankees to a 4-1 win, allowing four hits and striking out seven in six innings.

Afterward, he was told that some accused him of having pine tar on his hand.

"I don't use pine tar," he said. "It's dirt. I'm sweating on my hand too much in between innings."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Friday that he never questioned the right-hander.

"I have never went out and questioned anyone in my career," Girardi said. "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. It's nothing I've ever done.

"I don't talk to pitchers about that: 'Do you use or don't you use?' This is not a recreational drug. 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."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke with reporters during batting practice prior to Friday night's game.

"I talked to Joe Torre [MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations] earlier today, he gave me a holler," Cashman said. "It's a resolved issue."

The GM would not elaborate.

"It was a conversation," Cashman said. "I wouldn't characterize it any way. But he did reach out to me, we had a conversation about it."

Cashman said he did not plan to talk to Pineda about the issue.

"He's been looking good," Cashman said. "We're really excited about what we're seeing -- happy for us, happy for him."

MLB rule 8.02 states that a pitcher may not "apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball." Rule 8.02 (b) states a pitcher may not "have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically."

ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes and ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand contributed to this report.