OKBET allsports : On Monday, Toronto Blue Jays player Alek Manoah posted a video in which he publicly called out Gerrit Cole, resurrecting allegations that Cole had engaged in cheating throughout his career.
To Appear on Serge Ibaka’s How Hungry Are You? Upon being asked who “the biggest cheater” in Major League Baseball history was (begins at the 11:19 minute), Manoah cited the New York Yankees ace for his suspected usage of sticky substances.
He lied, Manoah concluded. “He would use plenty of glue to improve his throws. And he was indirectly criticized for it.”
Cole has been accused of taking illegal narcotics before by his peers, so this isn’t a first.
Cole’s new teammate, Josh Donaldson, made a scathing claim to Dan Hayes of The Athletic in June of 2021.
Is it a coincidence that on Thursday, when four minor leaguers were banned for 10 games, Gerrit Cole’s spin rate figures dropped? That’s what Donaldson remarked. “Does it seem doable? Just saying. Maybe. However, in this case, they’ve delegated the work to the men.”
Donaldson was alluding to the suspension of four minor league pitchers for taking illegal drugs during games.
Cole didn’t refute the allegations, but he did say that he had utilized something “based on norms and practices that have been handed down from older players to younger players.”
As of the middle of the 2021 season, MLB has increased its efforts to prevent pitchers from using illegal drugs. Currently, umpires will verify a pitcher’s status whenever they are pulled from the game or between innings. The starter in a baseball game will often be checked on many times.
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All three of Cole’s pitch types (fastball, curveball, changeup) have had declining spin rates over the previous three seasons, as tracked by Baseball Savant. His fastball topped out at 2,530 rpm in 2019, but dropped to 2,505 in 2020, 2,452 in 2021, and 2,428 in 2022.
Cole’s slider speed increased slightly from 2,582 in 2020 to 2,600 in 2021, but then fell to 2,569 in the most recent season.
However, a drop in spin rates does not necessarily indicate that Cole was taking a chemical and ceased when MLB started enforcing its laws. At 32 years old, it may just be the inevitable result of his advancing age and slowing arm speed.
As the Blue Jays and Yankees prepare to battle it out in the American League East next season, Manoah’s words are sure to stoke the fires of competition between the two clubs.
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