Starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays Alek Manoah is adamant about who the biggest crook in MLB history is.
The NBA player Serge Ibaka asked the pitcher that very question while he was a guest on his show, “How Hungry Are You?,” and Manoah responded right away.
He responded, “Gerrit Cole.”
Ibaka questioned Manoah about the significance of the name, not knowing the background of the New York Yankees’ ace.
“He deceived. He employed a lot of sticky materials to improve his pitches. And he was corrected for it,” Manoah remarked.
During the 2021 campaign, a prohibition against sticky chemicals was put in place. Although the league has long since prohibited them, pitchers would still find ways to smuggle them onto their hands to let them move around more and exert more control.
And many people threw the finger at Cole, among other pitchers, because of his alleged use of it, when MLB adopted that rule to inspect pitchers during outings.
In reality, early in the 2022 season, when he looked to be caressing a location on his rear after each pitch, he was most recently accused of using anything. That was during a start against the Cleveland Guardians. But he never received a warning and didn’t receive another one for the remainder of the season.
The Houston Astros, who won the World Series in 2017, were discovered to have engaged in infamous cheating.
Cole was a member of that team. While only 2017 is proven to have involved cheating, Cole joined the Astros in 2018 and played two All-Star seasons with them at which time they were also accused of doing so.
Manoah chose to single out his AL East competitor Cole while that club used trash cans to signal pitches to hitters, helping them win the World Series. This may make for some entertaining banter next season.
However, Manoah and Cole have previously engaged in conflict.
In August, after Manoah hit Aaron Judge with a pitch to become the 2022 AL MVP, Cole came out of the dugout and appeared to be pleading for his dismissal. After the game, Manoah had some criticism for Cole.
Manoah remarked, “I made a pitch, obviously it hit Judge. Naturally, I answered, “Man, I’m not trying to do that,” as I turned to face him. I believe he recognized that. Next time, I believe Gerrit can simply walk past the Audi sign in front of the Yankees’ dugout if he wants to do something.”
It was just one too many (dustings), in Cole’s opinion.
These two will be seeing a lot of each other on the diamond for years to come because Manoah is desired by Toronto and Cole is in the middle of his extended contract with New York.
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