Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah’s feelings about his New York Yankees counterpart Gerrit Cole clearly run deeper than a heated exchange during a late-season baseball game.
In a recent episode of the Sportsnet YouTube show how hungry are youManoah told host and former Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka that the Yankees ace is the “worst cheater in baseball history.”
“He used a lot of sticky stuff to improve his pitching,” Manoah said, “and he got called around a bit.”
Cole, 32, is one of the pitchers who has allegedly used sticky stuff in the past to improve his pitching and has never denied it.
“Who is the worst cheater in baseball history”
In June 2021, Major League Baseball began its examination of the pitchers’ field a week after Commissioner Rob Manfred announced a crackdown on unauthorized gripping substances.
Earlier in the month, Cole dodged a question about whether he had ever used Spider Tack, a sticky substance designed for Strongman’s competitors to use.
“I don’t quite know how to respond to that, to be honest,” he said. “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 off limits in that regard.”
Cole had been singled out by then-Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson, now his teammate, for a drop in spin rate in a June 3 start.
MLB told teams three months earlier that it would increase monitoring and began steps that included collecting out-of-play balls from each team and analyzing spin rate data from Statcast.
Ahead of the 2022 season, the league reportedly issued a memo to teams outlining an increased crackdown on goo following a suspicious uptick in spin rates late in the 2021 campaign, raising the question of if some of the pitchers in the league found a solution for the umpires’ inspections.
Hitting the judge with a throw above the left elbow
Earlier in his conversation with Ibaka, now a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Manoah discussed an Aug. 21, 2022 game between the Blue Jays and New York at Yankee Stadium. In the fifth inning, Manoah hit Yankees slugger Aaron Judge on the arm guard above the left elbow with a pitch after pitching near the 6-foot-7, 282-pound outfielder earlier in the game.
Judge looked at Manoah as Cole started to yell and a few other Yankees came up to the dugout railing.
Aaron Judge had words for Alek Manoah and Gerrit Cole came quickly off the bench pic.twitter.com/KnUDe0gjMh
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Manoah said he told Cole to “come all the way [to the mound] next time and see what happens.”
Cole was intercepted by bench coach Carlos Mendoza before reaching the referees.
“I think if Gerrit wants to do something, he can pass the Audi sign next time,” Manoah said, referring to the banner stamped on the grass between the Yankees’ dugout and the first-base line.
“If Gerrit wants to do something, he can pass the Audi sign next time”
Alek Manoah said that like he meant it. pic.twitter.com/MTBdCra3sL
Judge, who had one hit in 16 career at-bats against the Blue Jays pitcher at the time, didn’t think the tapping was on purpose.
“It was the heat of the moment,” said Judge, who broke Roger Maris’ AL record for home runs last season with 62. “Nobody likes to get hit.”
“it was too much [dustings] to my liking,” Cole added.
The Yankees right-hander had a stellar season in 2022, recording 257 strikeouts in 200.2 innings with a 3.50 earned run average and a 1.02 WHIP.
Two weeks ago, the 24-year-old Manoah finished third in voting for the AL Cy Young Award as the league’s best pitcher in 2022 after posting a 16-7 record, 2.24 ERA, fourth in the majors, and 180 strikeouts in 1962. /3 innings.
He went 4-0 with a 0.88 ERA in his last six starts to help the Blue Jays reach the playoffs before Seattle swept them in a two-game AL wild card series.