As Major League Baseball gears up to begin enforcing its ban on doctoring baseballs, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole finds himself in the middle of controversy.
Cole is among a plethora of pitchers being accused of using illegal substances to gain an advantage on the mound. On Tuesday, he was asked directly if he uses a substance called Spider Tack, which is more difficult to detect than basic enhancers.
The 30-year-old dodged the question.
Gerrit Cole on if he ever used Spider Tack while pitching:— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) June 8, 2021
"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
The question to Cole comes after Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson named him when discussing pitchers doctoring baseballs last week. He also called the use of sticky substances "the next steroids of baseball."
"Is it coincidence that Gerrit Cole's spin rate numbers went down after four minor-leaguers got suspended for 10 games? Is that possible? I don't know," Donaldson said, according to the New York Daily News. "Maybe. At the same time, with this situation, they've let guys do it."
MLB is expected to crack down on the use of sticky substances this season. It was reported last week that the league was finalizing plans for the enforcement of foreign-substance rules.
Among the rule changes, umpires will randomly check pitchers for foreign substances during games. If a pitcher is found guilty, he could be suspended for up to 10 days without pay.
MLB is only beginning to crack down on the use of foreign substances because batting averages are the worst they've ever been. Considering Cole wouldn't deny using sticky substances, he should be at the center of controversy for weeks to come.