Gerrit Cole’s day job is pitching for the New York Yankees, but he made like a tap dancer during a news conference on Tuesday.
It started after New York Post columnist Ken Davidoff directly asked Cole if he was cheating: “Have you ever used Spider Tack while pitching?”
Spider Tack is a sticky substance openly used by weightlifters to enhance their power grip, but many Major League pitchers have been accused of using the substance to increase their spin rate ― even though it’s officially banned in the sport.
The sticky situation began last week after Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson alleged that Cole had been using foreign substances to get a competitive edge.
“Is it a coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s spin rate numbers went down (last Thursday) after four minor-leaguers got suspended for 10 games? Is that possible? I don’t know. Maybe,” Donaldson said, according to The Athletic. “At the same time, with this situation, they’ve let guys do it.”
Cole will take the mound against the Twins on Wednesday evening, but even though he had days to respond to Donaldson’s allegation, he didn’t how to respond when asked directly if he had used the banned substance.
“I don’t quite know how to answer that, to be honest,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “There are customs and practices that have been passed down from older players to younger players, from the last generation of players to this generation of players, and I think there are some things that are certainly out of bounds in that regard.”
You can watch the exchange below.
Gerrit Cole on if he ever used Spider Tack while pitching:
“I don’t quite know how to answer that, to be honest…If MLB wants to legislate some more stuff, that’s a conversation that we can have” pic.twitter.com/2fR1AUeOQX
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) June 8, 2021
Mediaite suggested there was no good way for Cole to respond:
If he said “yes,” Cole would have himself up for a possible suspension. If Cole said “no,” the ramifications could be enormous if he’s caught lying. But worse than the “I don’t know,” was the long pause, which became the most damning moment for Cole.
Still, many Twitter users were pretty sure Cole’s non-answer provided lots of answers.
Deer meet headlights. Yikes. Not great https://t.co/wxCdwND9C7
— tae kim (@firstadopter) June 9, 2021
Say YES without saying Yes. https://t.co/2Ro8NYtRbK
— Carlo Colaiacovo (@CarloColaiacovo) June 8, 2021
THE WORD YOU WERE LOOKING FOR THERE WAS ‘YES’, GERRIT https://t.co/rTy2Avbsn6
— Craig Elsten (@619sports) June 8, 2021
For those wondering how many players are using sticky stuff: If the guy who got paid $324 million is, you can be damn sure a majority of the rest of pitchers are, too. https://t.co/GVLYRF4xWJ
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 8, 2021
Answer needed more Spider Tact. https://t.co/47DOnYfnew
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) June 8, 2021
When my wife asks why the unfolded towels have been in the dryer for 3 days: “I don’t quite know how to answer that, to be honest…If you want to legislate some more stuff, that’s a conversation that we can have” https://t.co/he1pjaikrs
— T.J. Zuppe (@TJZuppe) June 8, 2021
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