Wouldn’t it be great if the Yankees just had one perfect player, who wasn’t dogged by anything from his past and didn’t invite valid criticism? Ahhh. The dream.
No, instead the team is led by Aaron Judge (strikes out too much, gets injured, woke up the Red Sox with a boombox), Giancarlo Stanton (strikes out too much, gets injured, body is weird) and Gerrit Cole (hates Billy Crystal, hates minor interruptions, hates crowds, hates silence, and — most importantly — cheated with Spider Tack along with 98% of his best friends across the pitching fraternity).
In case you were unaware, every time Cole pitches poorly, he’s someone who can’t hack it without the Tack. Every time he pitches well, he somehow found a way to bring the Tack back.
Impossible that the game’s highest-paid pitcher is talented. No. There’s always got to be something going on here.
During Sunday’s dominant return to form, a Twitter genius ignited a flame and accused Gerrit Cole of wiping a darkened spot on his buttocks to gain extra traction on the baseball. It’s a great tweet and a great video, featuring Cole wiping his pants exactly once (otherwise known as “overwhelming evidence”), but that didn’t stop it from being catnip to the haters.
But, instead of showing you that, here are Cole’s 6.2 dominant innings, otherwise known as “What Actually Happened.”
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole dominated Guardians, did not wipe butt and touch sticky stuff.
Predictably, the discourse was astoundingly dumb on Sunday afternoon, as suspicious fans of other teams flailed to explain why, exactly, Cole had found himself after three tough starts to begin the season.
After all, the conditions weren’t ideal Sunday. Saturday’s game ended with the Guardians out for blood, led by Myles Straw in an effort to strike back at the classless fans who tossed trash on the field after a walk-off Yankees win. If Billy Crystal’s too-long cameo threw Cole off, surely that added pressure would do a number on him, too.
Nope. Not at all.
The spin rate numbers don’t lie, either. Nothing in the data indicated an unreasonable jump in his stats, and Cole was able to maintain his 2019 velocity and extension with 50 fewer average RPMs of spin on Sunday. In other words, he’s figuring it out naturally.
This will be a repetitive cycle on Twitter for as long as Cole’s active and available. Every time Cole stumbles, fans will crow in unison. Every time he succeeds, misinformation tweets like this will circulate endlessly.
As long as fans have to deal with Cole’s reputation, the least he could do is dominate, though. It’s only fair.