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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Sher Heide BS. Why the great need to hear him say it. He’ll fight for what the pitchers need now from Manfred and he better listen. Why wasn’t Tyler the face of this or Bauer, now DeGrom is hurt…did he use it too. All the media acts like Cole is the only one. He’s won twice since this story broke, move on.
Mark Malmut Nice article Steve. I have a different take on all of this. The only reason that the overwhelming majority of pitchers, if not every last one, has gone to employing various substances to get a better grip, lies at the feet of MLB. It was MLB who screwed with the manufacturing process of the baseball over the last 7 or 8 years. They lowered the seams and ordered a denser interior winding to increase the speed in which the ball comes off the bat and lower the wind resistance to enhance the distance the ball travels. Why did they do this? The answer is to create an opportunity for more homeruns, which is the sexiest part of their marketing. Not all people are stupid. The minimized seams on the ball has been talked about for the past several years. This has negatively affected the pitcher’s ability to get a good grip. So they’re going to “a foreign substance” to get a better grip is simply a reaction to wrest back the advantage from the hitters. Don’t blame the pitchers for trying to play on a level playing field. MLB is essentially throwing their most valuable commodities under the bus for their own willful manipulation of the game. This is smelling like 1995 all over again, when MLB turned a blind eye to steroid use as a way to attract fans back to the game after the Strike, and a season marred by no World Series. Eventually, they punished those players, but in reality, that was their mess they created. 2021 is a historical redux.
Orlando Price Its going to be Bauer who gets the first suspension because he’s going to keep pushing the league by continuing to doctor the ball. He’s up 600 rpm from 2018 the biggest jump ever by a long shot he’s up 120 rpm this year from last year and he won the Cy Young
Joan Wulterin And so it begins! All pitchers used it! They’re worried about injuries like Glasnows
Salvatore F. Salamone Cole is very talented and a student of pitching. While he likely used sticky substances, how he pitches without them will tell the story. He will be fine long-term.
Adam King Got the W last night, didn’t he? And before anyone says anything about the strikeout total let me remind you that he’s been an absolute stud at every single level and at every single stage of those levels…
With regret because the comments have been voluminous and the exchange fun and informative, I am closing down published comments on this post. Let the dialog continue internally though, and as always, I will answer all.