Gerrit Cole Threw a Little Ricochet Shot At Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and the Angels While Talking About Why He Loves Pitching In The Postseason

Elsa. Getty Images.

Gerrit Cole gets the ball tonight in Game 1 of the ALDS. The man is in desperate need of a legacy defining postseason where he lives up to his $324 million contract and guides the Yankees to the promised land. That begins tonight against the Cleveland Guardians in his first home postseason start with the Yankees. Cole spoke to The Athletic this weekend and went on about why he chose the Yankees and why he embraces this moment. I loved every fucking word he said. 

The Athletic

“It’d be very nice to be living at home, playing with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani,” Cole said. “I could be spending today grilling burgers and drinking beer and gambling on football games. Instead, I’m here at Yankee Stadium throwing a bullpen at 10 fucking 40 am, but we’ve got the LDS coming up, and I’m pumped.”

“Yeah, but like once you play here, it’s like, who gives a shit about the rest of the league?” Cole said. “The level of commitment to winning here is unchallenged across the landscape of the league.”

In another reality, Cole could be putting up better numbers against worse competition in a market where the fans would mostly just be happy that he chose to be there instead of where he is now. He sees pitching in a dome as a competitive advantage, pitching in a weak division as a competitive advantage, and pitching for a team that is not perennially committed to winning as a miserable trap.

Cole hasn't always been the best in front of the mic partially cause of how his voice sounds, but those quotes fire me up. Little ricochet shot at Trout and Ohtani? Certainly unintentional but Cole's clearly biggest fear is irrelevancy. Playing meaningless baseball and staying home for October is not his m.o. 

That all being said none of this matters unless he shoves this October. It was an up and down year for Cole as he broke the Yankees single season strikeout record while also serving up a league high 33 homers. Which Cole are we going to get? A guy locked in, painting corners, trusting his fuck you fastball? Or a guy that gets thrown off his axis with the smallest disruption, implodes for an inning and has trouble getting the train back on the tracks? God helps us all as we find out. 

Lineup is here, let's cook