You’ve seen it on Clay Buchholz’s arm, Jon Lester’s fingers and now on Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda’s hand – pitching pine tar. Buchholz is greased up like he’s been oil wrestling. Lester was using it during the World Series. And now we have Pineda shutting down the Red Sox on a night when cameras caught the pitcher using the substance.
So what’s the story with this stuff? How do you make it? How prevalent is it in baseball? I chatted this morning with a baseball pitching source who shared the secrets to pitching pine tar.
I remember in 09′ [then A.L. Central MLB pitcher], [then A.L. Central MLB pitcher], [then A.L. Central MLB pitcher], and [then A.L. Central MLB pitcher] all were rehabbing with us. [then A.L. Central MLB pitcher] showed us the stuff [former A.L. Central MLB pitcher] was using in the ’06 playoffs.
He would cut a Coca-Cola can in half from the top and use it as a the pot to cook all the ingredients in. The reason is because this stuff would absolutely become sticky and would kill a pot.
Half of a Manny Moto Grip. Melt down at a low heat
Rock Rosin – finely crush it up (don’t snort it, as it can be very tempting, we are not in mexico) and add to the mixture. This will create some serious popping like when you fry a fish. Watch out for the stove, clothing, and yourself.
Liquid Pine tar – Add some liquid pine tar for color and extra tackiness.
I believe a shot of Coca-Cola was added to the mix, too. For no real reason.
Bring to a cool down, but transfer to a small Tupperware or dip can while it is still a liquid. It will harden fairly quickly, but when you need to use it just either warm up in a microwave or with your hand and add to hat, glove, or palm for perfect stickiness.
Go out and throw a perfect game.
To me this stuff was way better than Bullfrog and rosin. I would keep it on the ends of my glove and rub it onto my fingers when the ball was being thrown around and no one was watching the pitcher. I would say more than 80% of pitchers use some kind of sticky substance. From all of my friends its just to get a better grip on the ball for control.
Of course some are trying to snap off better breaking pitchers, but in the overall its for grip, feel, and control, which I’m sure the hitters are OK with so that they don’t get plunked. Hitters get to use it, pitchers should too. No one is throwing spit balls anymore, that shit is as cool as hyper color shirts and scabies.
We don’t know the exact concoction Pineda was using last night, but it sounds very similar to this “pitching pine tar”.
The Red Sox prefer the Bullfrog version.