Joe Girardi, Michael Pineda, Brian Cashman react to ejection of Yankees starter due to presence of pine tar

Rob Bradford
April 23, 2014 - 8:26 pm

Following the Red Sox' 5-1 win over the Yankees, the majority of the conversation centered on New York starter Michael Pineda being ejected  in the second inning after being caught with pine tar on the right side of his neck. With Pineda's April 10 start against the Red Sox still fresh in most everyone's mind -- with the righty having been seen with a glob of pine tar on his wrist before removing the substance in the fifth inning before the Red Sox could act -- there was little room for interpretation. After the ejection, Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Pineda and New York general manager Brian Cashman didn't question the ruling, or the objection made by Red Sox manager John Farrell. Here is what they had to say: GIRARDI Did you know he had it on?: "I did not. He did not have it on when the game started. I guess from what I understand he had a hard time gripping the ball and put it on in the second inning. Obviously that'€™s a problem and we'€™re going to have to deal with the circumstances and Michael'€™s going to have to deal with it and we'€™ll get through it." Did you see it on him? "No, I did not, I never saw it on Michael, so. I didn'€™t look at Michael. Gerry told me he did, said he had something on his neck and I just said, '€˜OK,'€™ got Phelpsie ready and worried about trying to keep the score the same." What about the April 10 game? "Obviously we have discussions with all our pitchers on things they'€™re dealing with, that'€™s what we do. We don'€™t ignore situations, we handle situations and something Michael chose to do after the first inning, he had a hard time gripping the baseball. Conditions are not conducive to gripping a baseball. Unknown to us he put it on and went out there." Surprised at his judgement?: "I mean, it'€™s a young kid. I don'€™t think he'€™s trying to do anything to cheat, I think he'€™s trying to just go out there and compete. It'€™s unfortunate it happened but like I said we'€™ll deal with it we'€™ll get through this, it'€™s a little bump in the road and we'€™ll be all right." Upset?: "I'€™m not going to get mad at him. The kid'€™s doing the best he can, he'€™s trying to compete, and that'€™s what he'€™s trying to do. I don'€™t think he'€™s trying to get an edge on anyone. He'€™s a young man that'€™s been through a lot, been through a lot of rehab and has worked his tail end to get off to this start and he made an error in judgment." Where do you go from here?: "It'€™s something we have to deal with. There are other things that are going to come up in the course of the year that we'€™ll find a way to get through it." Want a rule change?: "That'€™s something I'€™ll talk with  Major League Baseball. Obviously you want guys to compete at the highest level and you want safety. It'€™s something I'€™ll talk to MLB about." Will there be a suspension?: "I have no idea, will just wait to see what comes down." What did Pineda said: "I did not talk to Michael right away, obviously my job is to manage the game. And then I went up in the dugout. He feels bad, he feels like he let his teammates down. But as I said to Michael, '€˜Hey, this is a little bump, we'€™ll get through this, we'€™ll find a way to get through this and you'€™ll be back pitching before you know it." What about turning the dugout camera?: "No, what frustrated me is the camera is meant for the dugout, not for the tunnel and Michael was already out of the game so what I wanted was I don'€™t want it down in our tunnel, that'€™s our private area. It has been clearly stated that that is for the dugout, not for the tunnel, not for conversations and what happens between players and coaches and that was my beef. If I was really going to tear up the camera, I would have torn it up but I was trying to get it from being in the tunnel.'€™'€™ Surprised at Farrell's objection?: "If it'€™s that obvious, with all the attention, I don'€™t think so.'€™'€™ Bad judgement?: "He made poor judgment tonight. He'€™ll admit to that. But I think you can look at everyone in that room and everyone in this room, we have not always made the best decisions in our life and you learn from them." Problems with dugout camera?: "I think MLB'€™s going to have a problem with ESPN going into our tunnel. I didn'€™t break the camera, all I did was keep it from going into our tunnel. You guys are acting like I ripped it apart. The camera worked the rest of the game, didn'€™t it? All I did was turn so it was on the field or the dugout. ... If I'€™m going to get fined for that, I'€™ll have a real problem with that because I didn'€™t do anything to hurt the camera. The camera'€™s in my way, there wasn'€™t one on the other side. The camera'€™s in my way, that'€™s where I stand every day, the camera'€™s in my way." Pineda gave Red Sox no choice?: '€œThat'€™s probably fair to say.'€™'€™ PINEDA Why did you do it?: "In the first inning I no feel the ball, and you know, I don'€™t want to like hit anybody so I decide to use it." Why your neck?: "I don'€™t know. Like, you know, like, it'€™s cold, and I no want to hit anybody on the team, and I want to feel good the ball and make a good pitch." It's illegal: "Yeah, but, the team. I don'€™t feel the ball and I don'€™t want to hit anybody, so ..." Who put it on you?: "Yeah, I do it by myself, yeah." Pine tar?: "Yeah, yeah. It'€™s pine tar." Expect suspension?: "Yea. You know, like, I feel so apologize for my team and everybody, so, I learn from this mistake. It no happen again." Did anybody with Yankees talk to you about this?: "No, nobody talked to me about that. I do it today because I no feel the ball in the first inning, and I do it by myself." What about what happened on April 10?: "This is the past. I don'€™t want to talk about it. I know I make a mistake today. That'€™s it." Did you apologize to your teammates?: "Yeah. I apologize to my teammates cause you know I put all the relievers in a bad (spot), so I apologize to my teammates and everybody. I feel so sad." What about next time?: "I go out there  and pitch my game. I no use it anymore." CASHMAN Thoughts?: "We certainly are responsible, and there'€™s certainly failure on our part as an organization as a whole that he took the field in the second inning with that on his neck. He'€™s responsible for his actions, but we failed as an organization for somehow him being in that position. I don'€™t know how, none of us right now, we'€™re scratching our head right now, how that took place." Was there a conversation with Pineda?: "I think it'€™s probably best to not comment on that, but clearly what took place in the second inning should not be taking place." Are you angry?: "I think we'€™re all embarrassed. We as a group are embarrassed that this has taken place. I think Michael'€™s embarrassed. I think we'€™re embarrassed that somehow he took the field with that in the position like that. It'€™s just obviously a bad situation, and it clearly forced the opponents'€™ hand to do something that I'€™m sure they didn'€™t want to do, but they had no choice but to do. Obviously we'€™ll deal with the ramifications of that now." Retribution?: "It'€™s not anything that'€™s on our mind. Listen, I would want our manager to do what John Farrell did. I would want, on behalf of our fan base and our team, to do the same thing that they did. Obviously this is a terrible situation that we all witnessed and we'€™re all a part of and we all have ownership to because there was clearly a failure and a breakdown that he wound up walking out of that dugout with something like that. It'€™s just not a good situation." Why didn'€™t you know? "I think with television. With television I think the Red Sox probably saw it just like we saw it, but he was already on the field. He didn'€™t have it in the first inning. He had it in the second inning. There wasn'€™t anything there in the first inning. He walked out of the dugout in the second inning with it on, and I think by the time everybody saw what was going on, it was too late." Did you see it before the ump? "I personally got a phone call from people watching the game on TV like, '€˜Hey, I don'€™t know what'€™s going on, but something looks (suspicious).'€™ So I got out of the stands, walked in, but by the time I made it from the stands in here it was too late." Is the problem that he used it or that it was so obvious? "It'€™s against the rules, let'€™s leave it at that." Dumbfounded that it was so blatant? "We are all responsible. He did what he did, but we are all responsible that he got out of our dugout and was on the field in that manner. We'€™re all responsible for that situation. Don'€™t misunderstand that we are a part of putting something on him and stuff like that, but clearly we all have ownership of the fact that that never should have happened." Was he told not to do it?: "There have been enough conversations. And obviously there will be more now, or there have already been more now, even in-game when he was ejected from the game. I think after the last go-around with the same team, clearly there were a lot of conversations about this. There are no secrets there." Expect suspension?: "Yes." Message to the fans?: "This is not something that we'€™re proud to be sitting in, and we'€™re certainly embarrassed. When he took the field in the second inning, that should never have taken place."