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Reminder: almost every pitcher uses some sort of goo to enhance grip and/or doctor pitches

Apr 11, 2014, 8:03 AM EDT

pineda hand

The Michael Pineda pine tar thing last night will set tongues wagging on talk radio today. Which is fine, because it’s fun to talk about that kind of crap while we wait for the next day’s games. But as our tongues wag, let’s remember something here: just about every pitcher uses something to mess with baseballs and/or enhance their grip, and for the most part baseball is content to look the other way about it.

We were reminded of this last year when Clay Buchholz was (more or less) busted with the Bullfrog sunscreen on his arms. While pitching in a domed stadium. At night. No on one the Blue Jays complained about that — it was noted by broadcasters Dirk Hayhurst and Jack Morris — and in the aftermath we got reports that upwards of 90 percent of pitchers use something to enhance grip. Heck, Pineda wasn’t even the only pitcher using foreign substances yesterday. As Evan Drellich reports, Astros reliever Josh Zeid was seen putting sunscreen on his arms yesterday before entering the game. In a domed stadium. At night.

When asked about it on the record, pitchers — after some hilarious early denials that they had anything untoward on their hands or arms — will tell you that they do this to get extra grip on the ball and hitters will tell you that they are more or less OK with this if it prevents pitches from being inadvertently sent on a trajectory toward their heads. Off the record, of course, pitchers will note that if it helps them get some extra mustard on the ball, well hey, ain’t that a daisy? Off the record hitters will privately grouse about it too (and apparently Red Sox players were privately grousing about Pineda’s pine tar last night). But no one makes a stink out of it because the last thing a hitter wants is his own pitcher being similarly scrutinized.

So this is the dance. It’s a dance that wasn’t as necessary before HDTV, telephoto lenses and social media made these incidents visible and subject to discussion in real time, but it’s a dance that isn’t likely to change any time soon. With the exception of PEDs, baseball has always been able to deal with these gray and complicated ethical areas in which someone may be cheating but our guy is cheating too without getting too worked up about it.

Just keep that in mind if your local sports yakker decides today that Michael Pineda is a dirty rotten cheater and that baseball must do something about it.

UPDATE: Andy Martino of the Daily News spoke with Chris Capuano and some other players about it. And the message: yes, everyone does it. Just don’t be so obvious about it, ok?

  1. cshearing - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    First a PED excuser, now a cheating excuser. Is there anything you won’t excuse, Craig? /s

    Just trying to get that silly comment out of the way. We’ll see if it works.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      I see what you did there. Well done. Now, sharpen those sticks for the others who clearly will miss it.

  2. paperlions - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    I can see it now. In a few years, these blatant cheaters will be appropriately vilified and ostracized for cheating and using substances that allow them to get un-natural movement on their pitches. This is exactly like PED use…everybody did if for over 40 years, almost everyone used amphetamines regularly and a large proportion used steroids….everyone did it, a lot of people knew pretty much the entire time, but nobody cared…until they did. I suppose a pitcher is going to have to break some hallowed pitching record for the tides to change though.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      You’re spot on. They (MLB and the powers to be) claim that they want to keep baseball true to it’s tradition and don’t want to doctor it or change it in anyway, which contributed to the ban PEDs, pinetar, etc. Except in doing so? It’s going against their wishes. These things were part of major league baseball from it’s conception. It was commonplace across the league. Players did whatever they could to win, and nobody cared. I understand there are other factors in play- PED’s has a political platform to appease, the (attempted) removal of chew was for health and image related reasons, so on and so forth. But things like this are petty. I almost wish pitchers would all collectively come out and say “yea, we all do it. Sunscreen, pinetar, hair gel, whatever it takes.” Would it make the problem go away? No. But it would make the stigma of doing so diminish to some extent. I think.

      So there you go- I defended a Yankee. I think that’s a first. And I hope I don’t get my Orange & Black card revoked.

    • alangyo - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      And, paper, have you pointed out that there is no research or data to suggest which method of cheating helps the player the most?

      What if we find out that using something to improve a grip gives a pitcher way more of an advantage than a batter taking PEDs? What if the pitcher is also taking PEDs. so a pitcher is putting foreign substance on a ball + taking PEDs.

      but, who are the worst cheats in the history of cheating? Batters who hit HRs….HRs off pitchers who scuffed balls and took PEDs themselves…

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        I’ll said it again. 95% of the hysteria is because of the home run record. Without it we might be talking about Steroids in the same way we do pitchers putting goo on the ball. Yeah sure their guys do it but so do our guys. Kind of like a MAD situation.

      • paperlions - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:12 AM

        Yep, on this blog, I have pointed out many times that the evidence for the effects of steroids on production is weak at best. The reason that no one refers to studies that estimate how much steroid use may have affected production is because every study that has been done can’t find any signal associated with it…even when steroid testing began, it had ZERO effect on HR rates across the league.

      • alangyo - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        I just find this instance of cheating funny. I always try to bring up Joel Peralta when people talk about cheating but it’s only PEDs.

        So, in this instance, let’s say a lot of SPs took PEDs. Well, now it’s pretty clear a lot of pitchers also scuffed balls/used foreign substances to improve their grip. So, if PEDs are the worst form of cheating AND a pitcher cheated another way on top of it. Arent pitchers in the PED era getting a huge advantage? So, then, exactly how is it that batters were the only ones benefiting from PEDs?

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        On paper’s note here I’d like to present one Jay Gibbons as Exhibit A in favor of the viewpoint that Steroids does not always equate increased production. Just increased guns and noggin size.

      • moogro - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        It’s more than it being a home run record. That doesn’t explain the hysteria, or the irrationality. It is also about the fear and resentment that comes with the body politics that Mr. Bonds represents.

  3. keltictim - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Very well said. I do think there’s a bit of a leap from sunscreen to pine tar but not enough of a leap to make a fuss over.
    Of course, as always, over reaction shall rule the day.

  4. nymets4ever - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    If you say “If your local talk radio host is frothing at the mouth over Michael Pineda today he is being willfully ignorant of baseball’s approach to doctored baseballs,” you are being willfully ignorant of the fact that female talk radio hosts exist

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      Do you get paid per post criticizing everything Craig says? It really seems like it, because you bitch about EVERYTHING and in this case you are CLEARLY reaching. Do you ever get tired of being so negative and pushing out the stereotypical New York fan behavior? Don’t you think it’s time to be a little better, to pave the way for not being a total and complete tool?

      Or not. Just wondering.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Typical New Yawker. Nothing more.

      • yankees218 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Please don’t lump him into the whole NY population.
        I swear he (she) is a rare breed.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Oh, I’m not. That’s why I said it was stereotype behavior. A stereotype is a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality. I know a lot of people in NY aren’t this way, but there is a perception and it’s propagated by people like nymets4ever. And I would like to hope that more people would take extra caution not to push along these stereotypes. It’s people like nymets4ever that give New York fans a bad name. Thankfully there are several NY fans on this very blog that help hold up that NY fans can be calm, rational, and not blindly follow their team. Several of which I hold in great regard, and I say that as a die hard Orioles fan.

    • metitometin - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      The Sports Babe??

  5. Hugh Jass - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Pineda > Montero and that traitor Robbie Cano

    • alangyo - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      he’s a trader, a trader!

    • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:53 AM

      Cano who??? Oh right right that money man,I see 8-).

    • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      If Cano’s a traitor, what does that make Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Kuroda, Matt Thorton, and Masahiro Tanaka?

      Not a rhetorical question. I’m curious about your answer.

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        18thstreet… You do know Cano might me the new next face of the Yankees when Jeter walks down the carpet now right? He just missed that kind of opportunity and just head with the M’s money so for as Yankees fan he’s a traitor and just a money man.Oh right! He might not win any WS rings for now so I kinda feel sorry for him 8-).

      • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        He might not have won any World Series sticking around the Bronx, either. There are several teams that don’t win the World Series each year. You can look it up.

        I mean, the Yankees may have a slightly better chance of winning the World Series this year than do the Mariners, but not by much. The Yankees are in a tougher division and are older (and thus have a great risk of injuries). Heck, fangraphs thinks the Yankees have a 2 percent chance of winning the World Series this year, and the Mariners have a three percent chance.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/coolstandings.aspx

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:05 AM

        Yankees?

      • raysfan1 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Cano…signed a contract with the Yankees and fulfilled the terms of that contract. In so doing he does not owe them or their fans anything else. He has since signed a new contract with a different team for mor money than the Yankees offered.
        Chasing the money? Sure. So what? He’s a professional, and that’s his prerogative.
        Traitor? No.

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        Should have know… Go kick some ass there at Seattle Robinson”Supermarket”Cano i’ll be rooting for your money to be used well 8-).

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        This Graphs are ridiculous!! Who would seriously believe this?

      • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        What’s ridiculous about them? Do they not add up to 100 percent?

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        It’s pretty clear the one who made this is a Nationals fan lol! And Redsox winning the Division again? 8-)

      • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        According to that site, the Red Sox have a 37 percent chance of winning the AL East, meaning they have a 63 percent chance of not winning the AL East.

        Me, I’d be shocked if the Nationals didn’t win that division. Eighty percent (as estimate by fangraphs) leaves more wiggle room than I would. I can’t imagine the Mets, the Marlins, or the Phillies winning the NL East. And the Braves have had injuries.

        All of which is to say that I think fangraphs estimates are perfectly reasonable.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        There are no traitors in baseball. Baseball players are businessmen. Robby did what was best for Robby. All of those players did what they thought was best for them. All of this bleed and die for the team stuff is for the fans. Yes, there are some players who will only play for one team, but this is most often because of their own comfort with the franchise, certainly not because they feel they will be a “traitor” if they leave.

        Boggs, Damon, Ellsbury- all key figures in the Red Sox/Yankees “blood feud”, all wound up in the Bronx. I leave Clemens off the list because he didn’t go directly from Boston to New York. Bernie Williams almost joined the Red Sox.

        I’ve never begrudged a Yankee I liked when he left for a better opportunity. And people can play the revisionist history game all they want, but Jeter never ruled out leaving the Yankees when he was negotiating his last contract. And it would have hurt to see him in another uniform, but I never would have called him a traitor.

    • clydeserra - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      why is Cano a Traitor?

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        HE’S A TRAITOR, A TRADER, A MONEY MAN!! The empire don’t need him, Good thing he changed factions 8-).

      • alangyo - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        a complete trader! he trades stock options cuz he greedy! traders are the blurst

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        I second that statement!

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        Apparently the empire don’t need him or they grammar.

  6. realgone2 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    You’re a god awful “blogger” and no one does anything about that. So, I guess we’ll leave it alone.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      And yet you read. And take the time to comment.

      Trolls gonna troll.

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:18 AM

        And Yankees gonna win 8-).

  7. peymax1693 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    What’s the definition of a media-driven story? When players (you know, the ones who would actually have a reason to be upset) go on record as saying whatever happened isn’t an issue.

  8. Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Meanwhile, somewhere, Gaylord Perry is laughing his fat ass off about all of this, while he polishes his HOF ring.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      They get rings?

      • largebill - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        Yes

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        Yes, there are HOF rings. I’ve seen ‘em. I met Fergie Jenkins once by chance and I asked him what the ring was from. To which he replied, “Hall of Fame.” No further questions, your Honor.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        This, I did not know.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        Can we cue the “The More You Know” commercial?

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        EVIDENCE: http://www.legendaryauctions.com/ItemImages/000094/98137a_lg.jpeg

  9. thefugitivekind - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Maybe we should come up with a new acronym – PES – Performance Enhancing SUBSTANCE. Although pine tar might be a true PED, a Performance Enhancing DRUG. It is an active ingredient in many dandruff shampoos, is used to treat seborrhea and psoriasis, and the Food and Drug Administration requires that it be listed as an ingredient on federally mandated warning labels. Heavy stuff, baseball fans. Heavy stuff.

    • Francisco (FC) - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      PEDs in Shampoos, This explains a lot about Troy Polamalu.

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:18 AM

        Not unless it’s Vaseline.

      • thefugitivekind - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        But it doesn’t explain anything about Rickey Weeks.

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        (I’m hoping someone will mention Chase Utley 8-)…..

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    But the real question is: how will this impact his HOF chances?

  11. rbj1 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Um, don’t 100% of pitchers use something to get a better grip? And don’t umpires leave it out there for them? I’m speaking of the rosin bag.

  12. sdelmonte - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    If it’s against the rules, it should be treated as such. If everyone is doing it, then everyone is cheating and the rules mean nothing. Either enforce the rules, or change them, but don’t swim around in absurdities.

    And it the height of hypocrisy to say “hey, it’s just gamesmanship” for this and to get al worked out about PEDs. Again, either it’s cheating or it’s not. There is NO difference between the situations. Unless you want to say that doctored balls are dangerous and players using HGH to get healthy are not.

    There are times when I really don’t know if I would want my kids to be sports fans. Underneath all the talk of fair play and level playing fields, everyone is just looking for an edge, and that is not something I think any child (or adult) should emulate. (Note: we don’t have any kids. I am not telling anyone who has kids how to raise them. I just know how I would raise mine, and I would want them to know that just because I love sports doesn’t mean sports are ethical.)

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      There are times when I really don’t know if I would want my kids to be sports fans. Underneath all the talk of fair play and level playing fields, everyone is just looking for an edge, and that is not something I think any child (or adult) should emulate

      And that’s what makes sports a perfect learning example for kids. When you are young, you teach them that it’s about having fun and enjoying themselves. If they still enjoy the sport and continue playing more competitively as they get older, they learn more life lessons like: life isn’t fair, sometimes the better player loses, cheating happens, people make mistakes, etc.

      Far too often we look at sports as some Utopia where only the good stuff is supposed to happen, and when something shatters that vision, our society throws it’s collective hands in the air screaming “OMG WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!?!??!”

      Use this issue(s) as teaching moment(s). I know I will with my son.

    • clydeserra - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      phew, i was hoping someone was thinking of the children.

      • sdelmonte - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        I don’t expect MLB to think of the children. Their responsibility is to have a set of rules and enforce them consistently.

        But I do expect parents to. Always. Though odds are I would be the world’s most overprotective parent.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      I don’t expect this is going to come up with my kids, but it wouldn’t be that hard to explain to them. There are rules that are enforced tightly and some rules that aren’t. Heck, I just told my son two night about that it was okay that we forgot to brush his teeth (he remembered once he was tucked in) — we just shouldn’t skip brushing except very rarely.

      I’d hate to live in a world that didn’t make exceptions to the letter of the law. I don’t come to a full and complete stop at every stop sign. I often drive five MPH over the speed limit. That doesn’t mean that I’m on a slippery slope to murdering someone, nor does it mean there shouldn’t be stop signs or speed limits. Real life has room for common sense.

  13. brandonmauk - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Haven’t the rules gotten more lenient in recent years? Like, you’re at least allowed to lick your hands to get a better grip on the ball. Maybe MLB should come out and clarify some things.

    • chc4 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Pitchers have always been able to lick their fingers. Equating that to using pine tar on your palm is pretty silly. No clarification needed.

      • brandonmauk - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:43 AM

        Not equating at all. Just a question of what MLB’s policy on handling the ball is.

      • clydeserra - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        and its not silly. a spitball takes a lot more goop than what pineda had on his hand.

        rosin, pine tar, saliva, its not going to materially effect the pitch unless there is a larger portion on the ball.

  14. chip56 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    It’s worth pointing out to the people who want to know why this isn’t treated as a big deal but PEDs are that the players themselves have very different reactions to this than to other players using PEDs.

    While player reaction around the league to PED use has been almost visceral in some cases, the use of pine tar or sun screen or, if you’re a Major League fan, snot on the ball is met by players with a “meh, so what?” reaction. Part of that likely has to do with the fact that hitters would prefer that a pitcher use something to get a better grip on the ball than have it slip out of his hand and wind up in their ribs.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      While player reaction around the league to PED use has been almost visceral in some cases

      How do you reconcile that thinking with the near 50+ years of not caring about PED use?

      • chip56 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:34 AM

        Different players and a different union leadership. I am certain that if Don Fehr was still running the MLBPA players would be “encouraged” to keep their opinions about PED use to themselves and also that there still wouldn’t be a comprehensive drug policy in place.

        That’s not meant to paint Fehr as some sort of devil, just that he was very good about ensuring that players presented a united front on all issues in the public.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        But Fehr took over the job in ’85. Players were using PEDs long before then. And I definitely agree with your last statement. Fehr and Miller both were vehemently anti-PED testing because they knew the slippery slope the players would find themselves on. And so far they’ve been proven right.

  15. chip56 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Incidentally, the Boston Herald article that Craig links to above that says players were grousing about Pineda’s use of pine tar doesn’t quote a single player from the Red Sox complaining about it.

    Ortiz called it “no big deal”
    Pedrioa called it “a non-issue”
    and Bucholtz also explained that it’s standard operating procedure.

    Maybe the grousing was done telepathically.

    • clydeserra - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      when I read things like that, I think “the reporter is looking for someone to confirm this for her/his story and asked somebody if they thought it was weird and the player said ‘yes'”

      then they ran with it for click bait

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      When a reporter says “players say privately” like in that BH story, it means they said it off the record or not for attribution. Probably even directly to the reporter.

      • chip56 - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Which is all well and good – but then he quotes three players who directly refute that statement. It comes off as a weatherman standing outside proclaiming a monsoon is taking place while there’s nothing but sunshine in the picture.

  16. happytwinsfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    i’m going to comfort myself by believing that the twins starters are the “10 percent” that don’t use anything.

    • chip56 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      If Phil Hughes were using something he should get a refund

      • clydeserra - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        they almost won his last game.

      • chip56 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        Despite Hughes, not because of him.

  17. unclemosesgreen - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    If you don’t complain about Pineda, you don’t have to explain why Buchholz is covered in what appears to be sunscreen, concrete dust and axle grease.

    • peymax1693 - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Exactly. Maybe the Red Sox hitters were griping about Pineda behind closed doors, but they were all smart enough to state on the record that they didn’t have a problem, thus providing cover for their own pitchers’ interesting use of similar substances.

  18. unclemosesgreen - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Chase Utley.

    • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      CHASE “VASELINE GUY” UTLEY!!

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        Chase “Skoal Chewin” Utley. His hair is on crazy amounts of PES’s.

      • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        HAHAHA XD!! Not only PED’S but dandruff too 8-).

  19. pftfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    David Ortiz vows to get to the bottom of this!

  20. ricardorobertasq - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    I have two points to make on this topic:
    1. If everyone is doing it, then either bust everyone or change the rule to allow it. We cannot have rules that we allow everyone to break, except the 10% that want to play honest. Make it possible for them to do the same thing. Why punish them for wanting to be honest and true to the rules?
    2. Why do the Red Sox have to alert the umpire about the substance for them to do something? If Ortiz’s bat would have broken and it was found to be corked, do the Yankees have to say something to the umps or would they have stepped in? If a player was taken out and then put back in, would the umps let it go if no one said anything?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      2. Why do the Red Sox have to alert the umpire about the substance for them to do something?

      Because most likely the umpires don’t see it. It’s not that the umps can see it but have to wait on a “report” from the opposing team.

      • ricardorobertasq - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        But that’s not what they said. They didn’t say “We never saw it and the Red Sox never brought it to my attention”. They only said the Red Sox never said anything. Did they see it and ignore it? Or did they never see it, which is what should have been said. If they do see it AND the Sox don’t say anything, are they supposed to do something or just leave it?

      • 18thstreet - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s the way baseball rules are enforced, and the role of the umpires.

        For example, if a batter homers and doesn’t touch second, the ump doesn’t say, “Hey! He didn’t touch second! That’s not a homer!” In fact, he usually has a poker face until the defense appeals to second base.

        What happened with Pineda might be like that. That the umps can’t enforce the rule until asked to.

  21. goawaydog - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Change the rule or enforce the rule.

  22. veracityguy - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    The rules of baseball state that a foreign substance can’t be applied to a ball but putting a little pine tar on your finger tips really isn’t the same as doctoring a baseball. Sure some microscopic amount will remain on the ball but the same can be said for rosin remaining on the ball which is perfectly legal. Especially when it’s cold, almost all major league pitchers use something to help improve their grip. It’s not the same as Vaseline or a spit ball which alters the ball’s trajectory. And it doesn’t make an 85 MPH fastball become a 95MPH fastball.

  23. sfm073 - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    How does sunscreen give you better grip? Seems like it’d do the complete opposite.

  24. Steven Keys - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    What the Red Sox or any team does or doesn’t do by way of protest is not controlling in these situations. It’s our game and most of us want it on the up n’ up.

    It’s a sad state when cheater’s mentality comes to dominate sport. But as bad as the boyish cheaters (PEDs / FS / fakers) are the near-do-wells who enable it, feed the fallacy with lines like, “not a big deal,” “HDTV,” “(it’s) crap,” that is until they get short-changed, then hear ‘em whine.

    You’ll never stop cockroaches from getting in, but don’t make ‘em feel at home, Mr. Selig.

  25. go4two - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Yankee Ball washer

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