Yankees' Michael Pineda suspended 10 games for using pine tar

The commissioner

(Courtesy: USA Today Sports)

BOSTON (CBS) - New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda has been suspended for 10 games for using pine tar to help him grip the ball.

The commissioner's office announced the penalty Thursday.

Pineda was ejected from Wednesday night's loss at Boston after umpires found the pine tar on his neck.

Less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, he vowed never to do it again.

"I'll learn from this mistake," a contrite Pineda said. "It won't happen again."

Pineda said he had trouble gripping the ball on the cool evening when he allowed two runs in the first inning. So before he took the mound for the second, he said, he rubbed pine tar on the right side of his neck.

"I don't feel the ball," he said. "I don't want to hit anybody."

One small problem: Rule 8.02(b). Written to keep pitchers from altering the ball to gain an unfair advantage, it prohibits them from having a foreign substance on them or in their possession on the mound and says that they'll be suspended if they do.

CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman says Pineda is "one of a pack of pine-tar enthusiasts" who routinely use the substance to get a better grip on the ball, especially in cold weather. Heyman says Pineda was told that if he ever used pine tar again, to do so discreetly.

"So what does Pineda do? He plants a baseball-sized glob of the stuff on the side of his neck, where everyone -- and every camera -- can catch it," Heyman writes. "He must think we live in a technology-free society."


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