BOSTON -- When Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday's game for carrying a glob of pine tar on his neck, he wasn't the only person who screwed up.
That was Brian Cashman's belief, at least.
The Yankees general manager stopped in the visitor's clubhouse at Fenway Park and spoke to reporters for five minutes, saying that the team had "failed" and that it was "embarrassed" about Pineda's ejection.
"We failed as an organization for somehow him being in that position," Cashman said. "None of us now -- we're scratching our head trying to figure out how that took place."
Cashman was watching the game live at Fenway when he received a phone call from someone watching the game on television: Something was up with Pineda on the mound and he might want to check it out.
By the time Cashman had retreated to the clubhouse to get a better look, Pineda had been tossed.
"I think we're all embarrassed," Cashman said. "We as a group are embarrassed that this has taken place. I think Michael is embarrassed. I think we're embarrassed that somehow we took the field with that in the position with that, like that, and it's just a bad situation.
"Clearly it forced the opponent's hand to do something that I'm sure they didn't want to do, but they had no choice but to do. We'll deal with the ramifications for that now."
Cashman said he expected Pineda to be suspended, though he said he did not know how long that suspension might be. According to rule 8.02 in the MLB handbook, a pitcher using a foreign substance shall be automatically ejected and suspended. It is up to the commissioner's office to determine the length of the suspension.
With starting pitcher Ivan Nova potentially out for the season with an elbow injury, Pineda's suspension will cost the Yanks another arm in their rotation.
Cashman wouldn't say he was angry at Pineda for putting the team in a compromising position.
"I'm surprised that we as an organization are in this position," he said.
When asked if the bigger problem was the fact that Pineda used pine tar or if he used it far too blatantly, Cashman let out a sigh.
"It's against the rules," he said. "Let's leave it at that."
Pineda indicated to the media that he had not spoken with anyone on the Yankees about using pine tar since cameras caught images of a sticky brown substance in the palm of his throwing hand on April 10 -- his last start against the Red Sox. Cashman, however, said that there had been conversations -- both within the organization and with Pineda -- about keeping clean.
"There's been enough conversations, and obviously there'll be more now," he said. "Or there will already be more now, in game and when he was ejected from the game. I think after the last go-round with the same team, clearly there's a lot of conversations about this. There's no secrets there."
Of course now some are wondering if this will begin a landslide of accusations back and forth between teams who know their opponents are cheating to get a better grip on pitches. It's widely believed that pitchers all around baseball are using something to improve their feel for the ball. Will the Yankees now be challenging the Red Sox the next time it's suspected that a Boston starter is using?
Cashman said that the team was not considering any kind of "tit-for-tat" scenario. He was not at all bitter about the fact that John Farrell informed Gerry Davis that Pineda had something illegal on the mound.
"I would want my manager to do what John Farrell did," he said. "I would want on behalf of our fan base and our team, you know, to do the same thing that they did. Obviously this is a terrible situation that we're all witnessed to and we're all a part of and we all have ownership to. There's clearly a failure and a breakdown that obviously he wound up walking out of that dugout with something like that. It's just not a good situation."