It's a performance-enhancing substance that will get you thrown out of baseball. Players will go to great lengths to hide it, but are still brazen enough to use it in the middle of a game.

And they've been on this stuff since the 19th century.

It is pine tar, and it claimed another victim Wednesday night. Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was the latest to fall prey to the allure of tighter grip, if not extra movement on pitches. Boston manager John Ferrell called time in the bottom of the second and asked home plate ump Gerry Davis to check out the Dominican righty for the sticky stuff.

You have to hand it to Pineda -- after a mysterious substance was seen on his hand when he schooled the Red Sox a couple of weeks ago, it takes some serious rosin bags to come right back in your next start and goop yourself up against the same club that was taken to task for NOT calling him on it the first time.

An "A" for Pineda's inventiveness, too. When a dark smudge was seen on his hand the first time ("It's dirt. I'm sweating on my hand..."), Pineda went with a much less obvious location Wednesday night -- his neck!

How did the Red Sox figure it out this time? Maybe Boston manager John Ferrell caught a whiff of Pineda's Christmas tree cologne as he passed by in warm-ups.

Just say no, kids.


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