The Sky Sox clubhouse, like everywhere else in baseball, took note of the blatant-to-the-point-of-hilarious pine tar incident last week involving New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda.
If you missed it, Pineda was caught using pine tar that had been smeared on his neck. He was kicked out of the game, suspended for 10 games and didn't bother with an appeal.
"Yeah, you make fun of a guy for being that ignorant about it," Sky Sox catcher Jackson Williams said.
It's not that Williams isn't familiar with the practice, it's just that usually guys are a bit more discreet. The eight-year pro said he's heard of guys hiding substances on the inside of their glove or on a belt, but never "on their skin where it's out there for everybody in the ballpark to see it."
In terms of sheer hilarity, Williams could think of only one other semi-comparable incident where a teammate tried stretching the rules.
While Williams was with Salem-Keizer in Class Low-A in the San Francisco Giants system, he said one of his team's hitters called for and was granted time just as the pitcher started into his windup.
The pitcher was too committed to stop, so he completed his motion and lobbed a pitch toward the plate in the dead-ball situation.
Williams' teammate figured, hey, why not, and stayed in the box, hitting the floater over the wall in right field.
It didn't count, but it gave his teammates a good laugh.
"That was pretty good," Williams said. "But I haven't seen too many crazy things as far as foreign substances go."
Pitcher Tyler Matzek said the Pineda incident didn't strike up any furor among fellow players.
He also said it's not an epidemic, particularly with many pitchers preferring not to have so much grip on the ball that it can impact a smooth release.
"No one's really upset about it," Matzek said. "I personally don't care. Some guys do it, some guys don't."