You know that feeling when you’ve had a bad day, and you just want to take your anger out on the rest of the world? Maybe the people you used to know who you see on posters now, their smiles gleaming while yours wilts?
Or is it “Garret” Cole?
OK, now I’m confused. Maybe he’s talking about a different guy?
Following Cole’s brilliant, gas-faced performance in a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays this week, Van Slyke logged on to Twitter after just hopping off a fishing boat (I assume, based on his profile picture) and decided to slander the righty by “just asking questions,” one of the worst rhetorical tactics on earth.
Unfortunately, Van Slyke’s question didn’t even really make sense.
Former MLBer Scott Van Slyke thinks Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is cheating.
OK, Scott. Let’s break this one down quickly. It comes down to one, crucial question: is Gerrit Cole really the only major leaguer you’ve seen raise his velocity in recent years? Like…really? The whole league went from throwing 94 to ripping 99 in one fell swoop, and you’ve chosen to single out the first overall pick with the highest pedigree?
There are many people out there whose velocity spikes I’m much more confused about.
Kyle Boddy of Driveline, a premier pitching instructor, checked into the chat with a picture of Cole from the beginning of his career to helpfully illustrate what might’ve changed between then and now.
See if you can spot it.
Oh! He was a kid then, and now he’s an adult. Also, scouting expert Kiley McDaniel pointed out that he threw some 98s at that point, too! So…nothing changed? He built muscle and continued on his normal genetic trajectory? Got it.
Just asking questions.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to deal with allegations of impropriety surrounding Cole. In an article written this offseason about the ongoing use of tacky substances by myriad MLB pitchers to improve their grip, the Yankees ace was singled out in the headline, leaving internet chuds to determine he was the SOLE cheater in a world of cleanliness. Not the case.
If you deem pine tar and sticky substances to be “cheating,” then yes, Cole is probably among the many MLB luminaries skating the rules, along with famously Trevor Bauer.
Van Slyke seemed to be implying something different entirely, though, baffled that someone’s velocity might increase over the course of a career, even as MLB veterans like Brandon McCarthy presented him with evidence that even pitchers with run-of-the-mill fastballs could incur an increase in velocity over many years.
In conclusion, Cole’s tapped into his velocity, so have many other pitchers using modern technological and mechanical advancements, and there’s really nothing to see here — other than a league-wide velocity spike that makes hitting damn near impossible.
On that note, we understand why a hitter like Van Slyke would be aggrieved.