What Gerrit Cole SHOULD Have said in That Dreaded Presser – Most recently, the MLB has begun to crack down on the banned substances that pitchers are using to gain a better grip on the baseball. While being overlooked in previous years and historically ignored, the MLB is looking for ways in which it can gain audience attraction and one of the ways they plan on doing that is producing more offense. In order to do that, the MLB works on finding ways to eliminate the amount of strikeouts being dealt on a daily basis.
Perhaps, the answer the MLB has been looking for has been right beneath their eyes this entire time. The league just made the decision to have a blind eye and turn the other way. Now, the days of avoiding are gone and the time of addressing the matter has come.
Gerritt Cole Response
Last season, the Yankees did something they are known to do in signing Gerrit Cole to a massive, record setting contract. Along with a few bright spots in Judge and Lemahieu, Cole has been consistent and reliable in his time with the Yankees thus far. 7-3 on the season, Cole proves to be worth every penny the Yankees spent.
Now it’s become a question in many people’s minds whether or not a foreign substance has played a role in leading to Cole’s success. Early last week a reporter was strong enough to confront Cole on the topic and asked if he had ever used SpiderTack, a sticky substance that arguably produced more spin than anything else.
It doesn’t take an expert in understanding that Cole’s response to the question wasn’t the best. Clearly caught off guard Cole responds, “I don’t…I don’t know, I don’t know if, I don’t quite know how to answer that, to be honest. I mean, there are customs and practices that have been passed down from older players to younger players. I think there are some things that are certainly out of bounds in that regard. And I’ve stood pretty firm in terms of that and like I’ve mentioned earlier, this is important to a lot of people that love the game. If the MLB wants to legislate some more stuff, that’s a conversation that we can have. Because, ultimately, we should all be pulling in the same direction on this.”
This question came after Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson casually dropped Cole’s name in a press conference. Donaldson was firm in pointing out that Cole’s spin rate went down his most previous start as news spread that the MLB was beginning to crack down. Funny enough, Cole served Donaldson a pair of strikeouts as the teams went up against each other a couple days following the report.
What Would Have Been a Better Response
Cole has taken a lot of criticism since people became informed of his response on the topic. Although he can’t be at total blame as there are people hired for the specific job of preparing the players for any unexpected questions thrown their way. Players are taught and instructed on how to answer these tough questions.
Often, the suggested response is to keep it as brief as possible with a simple “yes” or “no” to answer the question. Cole’s answer to the question suggests that he’s guilty of using SpiderTack whereas he could’ve potentially avoided that in being more prepared.
In professional sports, you can never answer a question saying you don’t know how to answer the question. That’s simply just unacceptable and will not fly.
You have to give off the impression that you know the answer to any question thrown your way whether it be with a confirmation, denial, or linking it to another topic. If he’s confirming then Cole should have said something more along the lines of, “Yes, I have used SpiderTack at times in the past.” If he were to deny the question then he may say, “No, I have never used SpiderTack and don’t plan on it.”
Although Cole dug himself a hole in responding the way he did, it’s not something that will put his career at risk. Him, along with many of his competitors, are at risk of potentially being caught by the MLB. Everyone seeks the same thing at the end of the day: a fair playing field.