Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's been awhile, I know

We’re in the middle of trying to decide whether or not to keep the blog going. Obviously, it’s a very long discussion.

But in the meantime, I want to post this:

What kind of a knucklehead does something this blatant – especially when there has been something previous and recent.

Michael Pineda obviously needs to work on his cheating skills. Perhaps he should discuss it with iconic former Yankee, Whitey Ford, who – if you don’t remember – for nearly his whole career used a rasp cut into his wedding band to scuff up a ball. No one ever discovered what he was doing, until he “confessed” a number of years later.


JohnZ said...

You are right, Pineda was a complete knucklehead for using pine tar so blatantly on his neck after the incident in NY where he had it on his wrist. He must be oblivious or naive or just plain stupid to think the Red Sox would not be scrutinizing his actions for a foreign substance.

But this brings up bigger questions, why was he using it and what effect does pine tar residue have on a thrown ball. Also how prevalent is this use?

After the second incident many pitchers were quoted as saying that from time to time they also use pine tar or some "foreign" substance to help them grip the ball when it is cold out. The ball can be very slick, especially in cold weather. The intent of using the pine tar is to get a better grip to be able to better control the pitch, not to deface the ball or cause a different action on the pitch - according to the pitchers quoted. But the rule says it is illegal to use a foreign substance. Well the rosin that's approved and behind the mound in that little white bag is a foreign substance...but it is approved. It's purpose is to help pitcher get a better warm weather to absorb sweat and in cold weather one has to add spit to hands and then rosin to get a tacky feel and better grip on ball. Why are pitchers allowed to go to their mouth when on the mound in cold get tacky better what is the issue here? Many pitches use pine David Cone on Yankee broadcast suggested why not put a smear of pine tar on the rosin bag when the weather is below say 40 or 50 degrees and approve that for grip? Why have pitchers hiding pine tar on their belt, cap, shoe, etc to get past the regulation....and then suspend someone if caught.....maybe a rule change is in order here?

What do you think?

Rick Blechta said...

I just listened to David Cone's take on this -- and he does have a point. I think MLB is worried about opening the barn door and other things getting let out. We haven't heard much about spit balls since Gaylord Perry retired, but I'm sure there are still pitchers out there who doctor the ball with something or other (I'm not talking about scuffing the ball ala Whitey Ford here). Ever notice how many balls are thrown out of play these days? I'm sure the umps are told to do this, all the while not confronting the issue as to why balls are being thrown in the dirt. Was something added to make the ball drop like that? Rather than looking the ball over and busting the pitcher if they're playing games, they toss it out, the ball boy rubs it down a bit and it goes back in the ball bag. Think pitchers aren't looking for every sort of extra edge they can?

So MLB digs in its heels on pine tar. I don't see any reason for not having some on the rosin bag if PT's only use is to provide better grip. It's certainly something could be done for cold weather games. Watching balls go all over the place because the pitchers can't get a decent grip doesn't add much to the game, does it?

Thanks for commenting, John!