Michael Pineda threw with the type of gusto through Thursday he had three years ago when the Yankees traded for him from Seattle.
His slider made batters look foolish. His fastball set up off-speed pitches. And he mixed in a cutter and changeup to keep the Boston Red Sox off-balance.
However, on Friday morning, no one seemed to be talking about Pineda’s pitching performance. Instead, it was about the substance on Pineda’s pitching hand. Television stills showed a brown substance on the base of the palm of his hand.
Pineda called it dirt. Others called it pine tar.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t know anything about it.
The Red Sox players said it didn’t matter.
There are reasons that it doesn’t matter to Boston – or most players asked around the league.
1. No one wants to be the team to point it out. If a manager does, he will set up his own team for the same kind of scrutiny.…