If you go and research the history of the Spanish name "Pineda," you will find that one of the meanings of the word is "pine forest."
You can't make this up.
Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda has lived up to his name over the past two weeks. Back on April 10th, Pineda was caught by ESPN cameras with a wad of pine tar on the palm of his hand while pitching against the Boston Red Sox. By the time the message had been relayed to Boston's bench, Pineda had washed the substance off. This past Wednesday night, in a rematch with the Sox, the cameras again saw Pineda with a large swath of the dark, sticky substance applied to the back of his neck.
This time, word made it to Sox manager John Farrell in time for him to complain to home plate umpire Gerry Davis, who ejected Pineda after finding the foreign substance on his person.
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"I'll accept it because I know I made a mistake," the 25-year-old told ESPN. "That's it."
The most disturbing part of this, at least for me, is the number of announcers, ex-players and news media who seemingly have absolutely no problem with the fact that Pineda cheated. Their only problem is that he did it so openly.
I've heard both former pitchers and hitters say that the use of pine tar is commonplace, and how it's simply to help them get a better grip on the ball in cold weather, not gain an advantage by making the ball move like the old spit balls used to.
Yet, those same guys will complain about steroid users and how they have destroyed the integrity of the game.
Maybe I'm too much of a rule follower, but to me, cheating is cheating. If it's against the rules, it's cheating. If it's gaining an advantage through illegal means, it's cheating. If the rule book specifically prohibits something, it's not okay to do.
They write that thing for a reason, people.