It's been quite a few days and the dust has settled. We wanted to bring you something unique since the Pineda pine tar incident from our pal, BYB writer Steve Skinner. Enjoy this... I certainly did. -Casey
I’m not going to scold you; God knows you’ve already been more publicly blasted than anyone since Sammy Sosa broke his bat and super balls spilled out.
No, I’m just going to ask you to be a little smarter and trust the gifts you possess. You made the starting rotation without (I presume) needing to rub your body down with pine tar. The coaches and team believe in you; so believe in yourself!
You are a competitive ball player, we get it. As such, you are going to look for any edge you can get over your opponent – just as any hitter would do (stealing signs, using corked bats, etc.). But, come on Michael, you have to be smart about it.
Did you really think that putting it out in the open for the world (and its cameras) to see was the thing to do?
In any case, you admitted you were in the wrong and we’ll move forward from it. For what it’s worth, the first time cameras caught you using the substance (when you beat the Red Sox), the Sox players were really unaffected by the information. As Rob Bradford of WEEI.COM wrote:
"Some other Red Sox players echoed Ortiz’s sentiments, suggesting getting a better grip might not be such a bad thing.
'I’m kind of on the fence with that where I would rather the guy know where the ball is going and have a good grip, for me, personally,' said backup catcher David Ross. 'As long as I’ve played there’s guys always trying to make sure they’ve got a grip when there is cold weather, early on. Maybe it’s cheating, but I don’t really look at it that way. Some guys might, but not me, personally.'
It was an opinion shared by Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, who came under fire last season for allegedly using a foreign substance for better grips on the baseball.
'Especially cold, windy nights, it’s tough to get a grip on a baseball,' Buchholz said. 'I had that instance last year in Toronto about having stuff all over my body. You can use resin, water, the whole sunscreen stuff, whatever. It’s either have a grip on a baseball and semi-know where it’s going or don’t have a grip at all and get somebody hurt. How hard he was throwing early in the game, nobody wants to get hit by that, especially up around the head, so I don’t think there’d be any organization that would want to do anything about it.'
He added, 'If you’re scuffing the ball, that’s one thing, but if you’re actually creating more control by throwing it where you want to, that’s the game of baseball. A pitcher is supposed to throw it where they want to, and hitters react and hit it. If it’s giving you any kind of edge, as long as I’ve been around, I’ve never seen any kind of sticky substance give anybody an edge. If it gives him an edge, that’s one thing, but if not…'"
So, because of your “openness” with the foreign substance, you’ll forever be part of the weird Yankees’ lore tied to pine tar.
In the meantime, you’ll need a thick skin (not covered in pine tar) for those in the media who will ride in on their high horses and look down upon you. They’ll describe you as a stain on the game and a liar and cheat. Those who so quickly have forgiven Ryan Braun and Barry Bonds will be less anxious to do so with you because you are a New York Yankee.
Just grin and bear it. Know that if you can go through the rest of the season successfully, and without further incident, this will soon be forgotten, and in all likelihood, another villain will appear for those whose “shit doesn’t stink”.
In the future, we’ll put together a little fund to purchase hand warmers that will fit in your pockets and help you get through the tough Aprils to come.
If they don’t work, for the love of God during your 10 game suspension find a better hiding place, because in spite of what you might think, people do notice when it’s flashed in front of their eyes.
--Steve Skinner, BYB Writer
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