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Yankees’ Michael Pineda ejected for using pine tar

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox in the second inning when umpires found a swath of pine tar on his neck.

When Pineda pitched at Yankee Stadium April 10, some viewers noticed a smudge on his palm. Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports

Major League rule 8.02 (b) prohibits a pitcher from using a foreign substance on the ball. Pineda now faces a suspension. In 2012, Tampa Bay pitcher Joel Peralta was suspended eight games after being found with pine tar on his glove.

After television cameras showed the pine tar below Pineda’s right ear, Red Sox manager John Farrell emerged from the dugout and asked home plate umpire Gerry Davis to check Pineda.

The four umpires went the mound and after a brief examination of Pineda that included touching his neck, he was ejected.


When Pineda faced the Red Sox in New York on April 10, cameras clearly showed pine tar on the palm of his right hand. The Red Sox did not complain to the umpires that night, watching as Pineda allowed one run over six innings and struck out seven.

Major League Baseball announced the next day that Pineda would not be disciplined, but that the issue would be discussed with the Yankees. Pineda claimed it was dirt on his hand.

Pitchers commonly use pine tar or another sticky substance to get a better grip on the ball on cold nights.

Before the game on Wednesday, Farrell was asked whether he would watch to see if Pineda used pine tar again.

“I would expect that if it’s used it’s more discrete than the last time,” Farrell said.

According to, the only Yankees pitcher ever ejected for doctoring a baseball was Bob Shawkey on Aug. 14, 1924.

Pineda allowed two runs in the first inning. He was replaced by David Phelps.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.