Shane Victorino: Michael Pineda’s alleged use of pine tar ‘was too obvious”
|04.11.14 at 7:43 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Shane Victorino seemed to speak for the majority of players in the Red Sox‘ clubhouse when asked about the controversy surrounding the foreign substance spotted on Michael Pineda‘s right hand Thursday night.
‘I don’t sit here and go ‘he’s cheating.’ Do whatever you’ve got to do get a grip on that ball so it doesn’t hit me in the head,” Victorino said. “There are nights when you can’t feel a grip. Last night was a little overboard. But we couldn’t hit him. That’s my point, it’s going to be a bigger story because the camera caught it. As I said, you can’t take anything away from Pineda’s performance but people are going to assume that he did what he did because of that ‘no. He’s going to come out clean next outing and be just as good, he can do that.
‘What are we going to do now? No, it’s too late. It’s not like we can take it back. Let the league handle it and whatever decision they decide to make, let them make and it is what it is.’
Victorino emphasized that while the glob of what appeared to be pine tar was perhaps too prevalent for his liking, it also wasn’t the reason for Pineda’s effectiveness.
‘If you need it for grip purpose, as a hitter, do what you’ve got to do on that mound to have a better grip. Everybody does it,’ the outfielder said. ‘So it’s not like, as I said, last night was a little obvious, a little overboard. Was that why he did what he did on the mound? Hell, no. Pineda was good.
‘I do it all the time from the outfield. When I throw it in I bounce it. Why? Because I want my pitcher to have a scuff on the ball. So when I throw it in from the outfield, I bounce it. There’s all kinds of ways to do it. Throwing between innings, catcher throws it down, it short-hops, all right, that ball’s scuffed. There’s so many ways ‘¦ Throw the ball every time in the dirt, if you want to go that badly. ‘¦What happened last night was because it got so blatant. It was too obvious.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell also re-emphasized prior to Friday night’s game that he might have drawn attention to the substance, but by the time he had come to realize it’s presence Pineda had removed it from the palm of his pitching hand.
In other news, Farrell noted the both Victorino (hamstring) and Will Middlebrooks (calf) would be re-evaluated after the Red Sox‘ series in Chicago against the White Sox, with Victorino progressing a bit ahead of the third baseman. At that point the outfielder could be ready for a minor league rehab outing.
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