Spring Training is here. A new season is upon us. The New York Yankees are gearing up for a World Series run. The hype is renewed.
Another piece of good news? The Tampa Bay Rays, who are the reigning American League champions, have gotten significantly worse. And we could trace it all back to manager Kevin Cash’s decision in Game 6 of the World Series.
When Cash removed ace Blake Snell, who was cruising against the Los Angeles Dodgers, before he could finish the sixth inning (because he gave up his second hit of the game, mind you), the Rays unraveled. The bullpen surrendered three earned runs, and that was the end of it. The Dodgers won it all and the Rays failed to force Game 7 despite possessing a very good chance to do so.
The Rays (and Snell) claimed no internal drama resulted from the decision, but then Tampa went ahead and traded the left-hander to the San Diego Padres just weeks later. Think the removal had anything to do with it?
Did Yankees ace Gerrit Cole take a shot at Rays manager Kevin Cash?
Well, Gerrit Cole seems to be alluding to the decision at Spring Training for whatever reason! And Yankees fans should be loving it.
We have absolutely no context here, but this is the clip of Cole speaking with the media on Tuesday and making the reference.
Not sure what else he’d be referring to! That decision is fresh in everyone’s mind and it’s perhaps the most glaring such incident in which a starting pitcher was prematurely removed in a World Series game in baseball history.
And after all the trash talking, grave dancing, and threatening (if you recall Cash’s “stable of guys who throw 98” remarks) the Rays did in 2020, it’s only fair they get it dished right back at them from their direct challengers. Tampa gave Cole a lot of trouble in his debut season in pinstripes, but it’s clear he’ll be trying to flip the script in 2021.
In the meantime, we’ll dig for more clarity here. But we have to admit, we like the context of it all appearing to be Cole taking a shot at a division rival.
What better way to kick off 2021?