New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was slapped with a 10-game suspension on Thursday, a day after being ejected from a Major League Baseball (MLB) game against the Boston Red Sox for using pine tar for better grip.
The ban will likely mean Pineda misses two MLB starts. He is 2-2 with a 1.83 run average in four starts for the Yankees this season.
Pineda, who admitted to putting the tar on his neck so he could discretely transfer it to his glove accepted the suspension, which will begin next Thursday, when the Yankees and Red Sox continue their series in Boston.
“I’m sorry. I made a big mistake,” Pineda, 25, said. “I feel really bad for that.”
Two years ago, Tampa Bay’s Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games after he was found to have pine tar in his glove.
With two outs and Grady Sizemore batting in the bottom of the second, Red Sox manager John Farrell complained to home plate umpire Gerry Davis about a substance on Pineda.
Davis touched a brownish substance on the right side of the pitcher’s neck and immediately ejected him from the contest, which was won by the Red Sox 5-1.
“You could see it. I could see it from the dugout. It was confirmed by a number of camera angles in the ballpark,” said Farrell.
Explaining the use of the tar, Pineda said: “It was cold. I couldn’t feel the ball in the first inning and I didn’t want to hit nobody.”
Pineda was also embroiled in controversy when he faced the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium earlier this month, as television cameras showed the right-hander with a brown substance on his right palm.
No protests were made by Farrell during that contest, in which Pineda held Boston to one run over six innings. The Yankees won 4-1.