Gerrit Cole praises fellow All-Stars, including Shohei Ohtani and Fernando Tatis Jr.

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Gerrit Cole at 2021 MLB All-Star Game availability
Gerrit Cole at 2021 MLB All-Star Game availability

Gerrit Cole is taking part in his first All-Star Game as a Yankee on Tuesday and is going through the motions of being an All-Star player -- which includes dealing with questions from media that he doesn't see every day.

Cole answered questions about a number of his fellow All-Stars, so here's a few takeaways from his comments on some of the best players in the game today.

On Shohei Ohtani:

The Yankees ace said that he loves what he's been seeing out of Ohtani this season and loves what he's been doing for the sport.

“I think it’s great. I think it’s magical," Cole said. "...He’s so exciting. He’s so exciting. I want to see him start.
“I think it’s really amazing. I’m really glad that he’s been able to stay healthy. I hope he continues on this path for the rest of his career. He’s such a pleasure to watch, he’s really humble, and he’s obviously something that I’ve never seen before. At any given time, he most likely has the most power, the most velocity, the most speed on the field, and to have all those attributes in one player, and the personality to go along with it, he’s so good for the game, and it’s inspiring to watch.”

“There’s always the dream, right? We don’t start off as pitchers only or position players only. We all want to do both and play multiple positions. You’re a left-handed kid in little league, and so what, you’re gonna play shortstop. There’s this simplicity to him just being able to fulfill that dream that even as a pitcher now or as a hitter, a certain child would love to do all of it, and he’s doing it, and he’s doing it on a high level, on an elite level. I hope he inspires a generation of players to continue to dream big and continue to shoot for the stars in that aspect, and maybe as he’s creating a wake right now throughout the league, he really inspires four, five, six more of them.”

On Max Scherzer

Like Ohtani, Scherzer will get the start for his respective team/league on Tuesday night in Denver.

“The first thing that comes to mind is he’s just an animal. I think he’s a brilliant pitcher," Cole said. "His mind’s going a million miles an hour whether he’s on the mound or whether he’s trying to innovate himself or finding a new way to attack hitters, get himself in shape, get himself prepared. There’s not really an aspect that he doesn’t put a lot of focus into. It’s really something to admire, the consistency. But when he gets on a roll and start snarling and sweating and doing the super long walk all the way around the infield after he’s punching tickets, I mean come on, that’s great TV, unless you’re on the opposite side.”

May 31, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field.
May 31, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field.

On Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna Jr.

While Acuna Jr. will miss the All-Star Game -- and remainder of the 2021 season -- after suffering a torn ACL over the weekend, Cole will have a chance to face Tatis Jr. Tuesday night.

“Dude, those players are fantastic," Cole said. "I mean, Tatis is super blessed to be coming through a baseball family, and he’s handled all the big money and the spotlight, big moments so well. Just great energy, good smile, you can’t say enough about some of these players.

"Acuna, wild talent. It’s so unfortunate, his injury as of late, but playing against the Braves when he’s leading off, it’s a difference maker. … I don’t know if I’m gonna get this ball back if it’s a strike.

"Every time players like that start the game off, as a player, you’re engaged right away, because you have no other choice, and I’m assuming as a fan, it’s the same thing. Just really stoked that these guys are blossoming, and that they’re doing it consistently and they’re able to stick around and continue to get better and we have a really long time to look forward to watching them play.”

On the sticky substance crackdown:

Whether he likes it or not, Cole became the unofficial face of the sticky substance crackdown across MLB, and initially looked to be struggling since the rules were being enforced before a stellar complete game shutout against the Houston Astros this week seemed to shut everyone up.

“I think we should always be forward thinking about those types of things as an industry. … There was no real legislation on the customs and practices that were going on. I know we felt that they got to a point where they needed to do that, and I’m certainly all on board. I think the long-term trajectory is really good in terms of what’s been going on," Cole said.

"It’s been a bit challenging to do it in the middle of the season. They’ve been aware of this, and maybe getting out a little bit in front of it, giving us some time to kind of adjust going into the season would have been my preference, or our preference. But as players, we’re here now, we’re adjusting, and I think we’re better for it in the long run."