Scott Boras: Focus should be on foreign substance legislation -- not Yankees’ Gerrit Cole

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Gerrit Cole road grey delivering pitch Tigers
Gerrit Cole road grey delivering pitch Tigers

All eyes are on Gerrit Cole tonight, as he starts for the Yankees a day after hesitating when asked if he had ever used the sticky substance Spider Tack while pitching.

But should they be? Should an individual athlete be the focus of a systemic issue?

In a Zoom news conference Tuesday, Ken Davidoff of the Post took one for the team and asked the question. It had to be done, after Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson cherry-picked Cole’s drop in spin rate last Thursday, in a game that coincided with an owners meeting about cracking down on foreign substances. Cole had also been implicated by a former Angels clubbie who provided sticky stuff to pitchers.

Cole paused, fidgeted, and finally said, “I don’t quite know how to answer that, to be honest.”

Yankees brass was impressed that Cole didn’t pull a Rafael Palmeiro, point at the camera and issue a blanket denial. That might have been the easier short-term choice, with potential consequences later.

And Cole’s agent, Scott Boras, makes a fair point that it’s unfair to single out Cole for a widespread issue -- especially when answering the question might require throwing Cole’s mentors under the proverbial bus.

“All players are taught methods of practice to optimize performance when they enter professional baseball,” Scott Boras told SNY Wednesday. “Asking G specifics about those customs and practices creates an unfair perception as it attempts to exclude him from the teachings and common practices provided to all MLB pitchers by coaches and teams.

"Players want to protect both their teachers and teams so they are cautious to respond especially when legislative definition is a future concept.”

As Boras notes -- and we agree -- this is a nuanced topic, one that lends itself more to long-form conversation than a Zoom grilling.

“With blind boundaries, intellect requires hesitation as any answer has a different meaning dependent upon the legislative outcome,” Boras said. “Do not expect black and white when there is a gray divide. The focus of this issue should be on the lack of and need for legislation and far from the specifics of historical practices taught to all MLB pitchers.”