Gerrit Cole didn’t have a good answer to a question from Ken Davidoff of the New York Post at his Zoom press conference Tuesday afternoon, mainly because there was no good answer available for the Yankees ace. The veteran columnist asked point-blank, “Have you ever used Spider Tack while pitching?”
If he said “yes,” he may be preparing for a suspension, as MLB prepares to crack down on pitchers who use illegal substances to increase the rate of spin on their pitches. If you said “no”, you would almost certainly be lying (there is no proof of that yet, but there is a lot of evidence and testimonials that say yes). And the truth almost always comes out in situations like these.
So Cole paused for a long time and then said, “To be honest, I don’t really know how to answer that.”
He answered without answering, of course.
See for yourself:
Gerrit Cole on whether he ever used Spider Tack while casting:
“I don’t really know how to answer that, to be honest … If MLB wants to legislate more things, that’s a conversation we can have.” pic.twitter.com/2fR1AUeOQX
– Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) June 8, 2021
Perhaps most surprising is how shocked Cole looked when asked the question. It’s actually a bit impressive. The topic has been dominating baseball conversations for the past week, and even if Cole himself chose to disconnect from the outside world during baseball season, it’s possible, sure, someone from the Yankees had to tip him off that this topic would. be approached.
“Is it a coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s spin rate dropped (Thursday) after four minor league players were suspended for 10 games? Is that possible? I do not know. Maybe, “he said.” At the same time, with this situation, they have let the guys do it. “
Zero chance that this was not going to be mentioned.
Here’s the truth of the matter: Cole has almost certainly used Spider Tack or something similar to improve his grip on the ball and increase his spin speed, making the ball move more and thus making it harder for them to move. batters make contact. But it is certainly not the only one. Although we don’t have numbers, it is absolutely plausible – probably, probably – that more than half of the pitchers in baseball are using something that MLB would categorize as “illegal.”
Because here’s another truth: Baseball has long turned a blind eye to “rule breakers” on the mound. As long as the pitchers weren’t too obvious about it, as long as they tried to hide it, practice would be allowed. The powers that be must ignore the issue until it can no longer be ignored.
That sounds familiar, right? In the “steroid era” of baseball, no definitive action was taken until the home run record began to fall. And not just the record for “most players to hit 40 home runs in one year,” but when the legendary 60 home run mark began to be surpassed in early to mid-September, something was finally done to address the problem of effective way.
The same here.
Spin rates have skyrocketed and batting averages have plummeted to historic levels. Baseball has never been an exciting sport, but an excess of strikeouts has begun to tire even the most die-hard fans. I mean, we’re one week into June and seven starters have an ERA below 2.00. And how about this fact: 29 starters average more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
Nolan Ryan, the strikeout king of all strikeout kings, surpassed only 11.0 in two seasons in his epic 27-year career. Yes Historic things are happening and MLB is finally preparing to act.
This may have been the first time Cole was asked point blank about using an illegal substance, but it won’t be the last. And it will not be the only one.