Major League Baseball wants to crack down on pitchers using sticky substances in order to doctor baseballs to hold an advantage over batters, and Gerrit Cole got caught in an awkward situation Tuesday.
The New York Yankees pitcher, who got shelled for five earned runs on as many hits during his team’s 9-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on June 3, has been dominant all season — really his whole career — but didn’t quite know what to say when asked point blank if he’s ever used a substance on a baseball.
More specifically, Cole was asked if he ever used spider tack. His answer was…well, let’s just say if you never have felt second-hand awkwardness, you will now.
Here’s what he had to say:
“I don’t,” Cole told reporters before a long pause. “I don’t know if … I don’t quite know how to answer that to be honest. There are customs and practices that have been passed down from older players to younger players from the last generation of players to this generation of players. I think there are some things that are certainly out of bounds in that regard. I’ve stood pretty firm in terms of that, in terms of the communication between our peers and what not.
“This is important to a lot of people who love the game including the players in this room, including fans and including teams,” he continued. “If MLB wants to legislate some more stuff, then that’s a conversation we should all have. Because ultimately we should all be pulling in the same direction on all of this.”
Check out the audio below to get the full effect.
A simple, “I don’t want to comment on this” would have sufficed.
We’re not in the business of assuming what someone may or may not have done, but Cole certainly sounds a bit guilty.