Gerrit Cole Won’t Say It, But I Can And I Will – He Was Doing It. So What?

Gerrit Cole - All He Was Expected To Be

Gerrit Cole stumbles with his words. He doesn’t need to. Half the pitchers in the league did it, and so did he. So what? For him, it’s over.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was using the “sticky stuff” or whatever his preferred spice was back even to the days when he pitched for the cheatin’ Houston Astros.

Cole doesn’t need to say it, but he should because he’s doing himself no favor when he stumbles through another postgame interview like the one from last night, after eight stellar innings and a win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

 Why The Dog And Pony Show, Gerrit?

The proof, as they say, is always in the pudding. From ABC News, we have this telling report regarding Gerrit Cole’s RPMs from last night’s start.

“Cole, who struck out a season-low four batters, threw 104 pitches, 47 of them fastballs. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Cole’s fastballs averaged a spin rate of 2,303 revolutions per minute (RPM), down 210 RPM from his season average coming into the game. In his start in Minnesota last Wednesday, Cole’s fastballs averaged a spin rate of 2,515 revolutions per minute.”Marly Rivera, via ESPN

Not by much, but seemingly that says, case closed.

Gerrit Cole was doing it, and so were most of his peers. They were cheating, just by a hair, some will say, but they were still in violation of MLB rules regarding the use of foreign substances applied to the ball.

So now, we have MLB stepping in saying “No more,” and if we catch you doing it, there will be fines and suspension.

Gerrit Cole knows protecting all he has is not worth the risk
Gerrit Cole knows protecting all he has is not worth the risk

Although there’s still no word as to whether or not the suspensions will be without pay, it appears that Gerrit Cole, and presumably others, have heard and heeded the call that the party is over.

Gerrit Cole and co. are now subject to search and seizure law imposed by MLB that would neither be accepted nor permitted in a court of justice if applied to any of us.

Though I have yet to see the searches applied in any telecast I’ve watched, the threat is there, and as in most cases, the threat alone is enough to stop the practice.

Ironically, of course, none of it mattered as Gerrit Cole shut down the powerhouse offense of the Blue Jays anyway.

This only goes to show, though, that sticky stuff or not, pitchers are way ahead of hitters this year, and they have been for many seasons as well.

It’s Not Gerrit Cole; It’s The Others

Gerrit Cole is “safe,” no matter the rules, because he is a premier league player. So move the mound back as proposed and tested in the minor leagues; no problem, he’ll adjust.

Brady Anderson: MLB's poster boy for overachievers.
Brady Anderson: MLB’s poster boy for overachievers.

Most of the other pitchers in the league are, by and large, pedestrian laborers just trying to make a decent living.

Harken back to the days of the Steroid Era, and it’s safe to say if Barry Bonds didn’t hit 73, he would have hit 63 without the juice. He was that good.

But what can be said, for example, about a player like Brady Anderson, who miraculously jumped from 16 home runs in 1995 to 50 the following year? Anderson needed the juice because he wasn’t that good.

As an active member of the Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA), Gerrit Cole can provide mentorship and leadership to all the Brady Anderson’s of the world today; before their careers are ruined, they find themselves working for a living.

A simple statement to this effect from Gerrit Cole will do it:

“I was doing it, but I’ve stopped – and I strongly urge you (his peers) to do the same.”

That’s all Gerrit Cole needs to say on the subject, and all will be forgotten as he continues to pitch and win lights out as he did last night…

Here’s what Readers Are Saying…

Anahid Balikdjian Almost everyone did-including field players GIF

Mike Harrington I feel bad that he somehow became the face of something pitchers have been doing since the dawn of time. Hell, we celebrate plenty of guys, some in the hall of fame, who we know for a fact made their living doctoring baseballs. It’s always been an accepted part of the game, with the old “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” mantra.

The players flew too close to the sun with stuff like spidertack, and the league definitely had to respond. I just wish they had made an allowance for the more rudimentary stuff like pine tar and sunscreen. (I’m waiting for a player to get suspended for pine tar on a ball, you know a substance that could easily get on to it with any contact with a bat.)
I hope they make allowances in the future, since I do think pitchers need something beyond rosin for grip, especially in cold weather.
As far as Cole goes, we saw yesterday his spin was down like 200 RPM, but it didn’t stop him from going 8 innings and limiting a ferocious young lineup to 2 runs. He’ll adapt and be fine, he’s an ace, and that’s what they do.
In the end of the day, this was baseball’s version of Jaywalking. It was illegal but unenforced outside of the most blatant transgressions (Michael Pineda, Phil Niekro’s Nail File etc), but with the recent developments, it’s as if crowds were jaywalking all day blocking traffic. Something needed to be done to curb this, but let’s not pretend the crime was more serious than it was just because it hit a threshold where new measures to control it where needed.
Angel Santiago Exactly so what?. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the only one.
Don Veilleux Maybe after a few players get hit in the head from balls slipping out of the pitcher’s hand they might change their minds.
Jon Karlen Dude threw 8 innings giving up 2 solo home runs and won last night. Seems like he’s adjusting fine.

Link To Main Page Here

And Thank You For Sharing –
Steve Contursi
– Story Teller

Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.