WASHINGTON -- Padres manager Bud Black hadn't heard the news Thursday that Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games for possessing pine tar on his neck in a game Wednesday night against the Red Sox.
But Black knows enough about pitchers using pine tar, as he was the pitching coach for the Angels back in 2005, when reliever Brendan Donnelly was hit with a 10-game suspension -- which was later reduced to eight games -- for having pine tar on his glove.
Black, who is a former pitcher himself, said the concept of pitchers using pine tar or similar substances to gain a better grip on the ball is not unique. Having it on your neck, however, is.
"There are pitchers, more than you would think, that use some sort of substance to gain tact on your fingers, because at times it is needed, based on weather conditions, the personal preference of the pitcher based on his ability to handle the baseball," Black said.
"That's always been a common knowledge among baseball people that rosin and maybe some minimal amount of pine tar doesn't really affect the outcome of a game. You will see catchers with pine tar on their shin guards and they'll tap it, so when they throw the ball, they feel good about griping a baseball."