In a podcast by Sportsnet titled ‘How Hungry Are You,’ Toronto Blue Jay player Alek Manoah accused Gerrit Cole of cheating. When the podcast host and NBA star Serge Ibaka asked, “who is the worst Cheater in baseball history?” The answer came easy to Alek, and he replied, saying, “Gerrit Cole.”
Gerrit Cole is an American baseball Player. He plays for the New York Yankees as their Pitcher. Born in California, this 32-year-old baseball pitcher started getting into baseball during his Highschool years. He played for the junior varsity baseball team in high school.
He attended Orange Lutheran High School. After his senior year, he was selected by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. He was the first one from his school to be drafted into the MLB. He decided to wait and attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) before he kick-started his baseball career.
He is one of the valuable players of the New York Yankees. In 2019 he signed a franchise record of nine years; it was a $324 million contract. Such an expensive contract for a pitcher is not common in the Major League. Amidst all his talent, the reputation of the player was questioned by an article released by the Los Angeles Times, accusing him of cheating.
Gerrit Cole Accused Of Cheating His Game
When Toronto Blue Jay player Alek Manoah accused him of being the biggest cheater, the news did not come as surprising because Gerrit Cole had already been accused of cheating before. In an article published by the Los Angeles Times, Cole and his other teammates were accused of using a sticky chemical called spider Tack to get more grip and speed.
The whole issue was brought to light when a former Los Angeles Angels Clubhouse manager Brian Harkins exposed a text message between him and Gerrit Cole in which he asked him for the “sticky situation.” Brian accused the Angels of making him a scapegoat and firing him for dealing with illegal substances for the player. He says many players, including Troy Percival, Tyler Chatwood, Matt Andriese, and Cam Bedrosian, have been using the concoction of rosin and pine tar to Cheat. There are also many other names included in this list.
The Angels and Harkin have a lawsuit going on against this accusation in the Orange County Superior Court. The MLB, through an investigation, found out that he had been dealing with illegal substances. When the team found out, they dismissed Brian Harkins. He worked for nearly four decades for Angels. He accused the Angels and MLB of knowing of this behavior from their player and still not educating them.
The Houston Astros Cheating Scandal
Right after college, Gerrit Cole started getting drafted into the MLB. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Cole to play in their team. He played for them for five years, from 2013 to 2017. He started his career with the Pirates.
The crucial moment in his career was when the Pirates traded Cole to the Houston Astros. He played for them for a year, from 2018 to 2019. The same team was involved in a cheating scandal. For years insiders have been speculating on the method used by the staff of the Astros who coached their team. There were rumors of them cheating. But there was no evidence to support this claim.
The speculations remained mere speculations until The Athletic published an article detailing their cheating method. According to the report, the team used a method of Steal Sign to help them win the play.
The article claimed that they used a camera to understand the moves of the opposite team and then signal them to their own team via a method of audio cues like banging on the trash can. A different signal means a different method of approach by the opposite team, and this gives the Astros the time to prepare for their next pitch.
This scandal was the major talk back in the 2019-2020 offseason. The Astros suffered much damage, and they fired their general manager Jeff Lunhow and field manager, A.J. Hinch. The scandal ruined the reputation of the team.
Unfortunately, Gerrit Cole was a team member when the scandal started to unfold. By the end of 2019, he left the team and became a part of the New York Yankees. This Cheating scandal did not affect Garrot much because the majority of the cheating was done during 2017. It was a year before he joined the team. But the report by M.L.B Commissioner Rob Manfred also states that the Astros continued this illegal sign-stealing practice for at least part of 2018. In spite of the accusation, Garrot denied seeing anything while playing for the Astros.
Was Gerrit Cole Cheating?
On Sunday, 24th April 2022, the New York Yankees played against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium. In this game, Cole was in his usual form. He helped the Yankees to win with a 10-2 verdict. He had 6.2 innings with only four hits and no earned runs.
After the game, a video was posted online. The video focuses on Gerrit Cole grabbing at his right quad after a pitch. His right quad was a bit discolored, implying some sort of substance. He is already accused of using sticky chemical substances for his pitch. This video became a topic of conversation among fans. The fact that he was in much better form compared to his last games made these speculations even more prone to believe.
Cole seems to rub his pants a lot. By that, he was rubbing his butt, and now that seemed a little odd, sparking speculations among fans. Based on this odd behavior, they accused him of using the chemical. Twitter was filled with speculations, but there was no proof of him actually using chemicals. Though some believe that he was indeed using them, others just ruled out this suspicion. They believe that this was done intentionally to tarnish the image of the Yankees. As of now, there is no personal statement from Cole admitting his accusation.