New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has been caught up in a sticky situation after a lawsuit was filed involving the Los Angeles Angels and a fired clubhouse manager. Attorneys for Brian “Bubba” Harkins submitted a text message, allegedly from Cole, in Orange County Superior Court on Thursday, according to reports, including one in the Los Angeles Times.
Harkins, who was fired in March after the Angels were informed that a Major League Baseball investigation had found he was providing banned substances to pitchers to enhance their grip on the baseball. Harkins attorneys are saying MLB is making him a “scapegoat” and now Harkin is taking everyone down with him.
This is a copy of the reported text from the Yankees ace.
“Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole, I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation,” the pitcher, then with the Astros, wrote on Jan. 17, 2019, adding a wink emoji, according to the reports. “We don’t see you until May, but we have some road games in April that are in cold weather places. The stuff I had last year seizes up when it gets cold.”
Last year, Trevor Bauer wrote in The Players’ Tribune that he was suspicious of how pitchers on the Astros teams Cole pitched for had improved their spin rate so dramatically.
“When I see a guy go from being a good pitcher for one team and spinning the ball at 2,200 rpm, to spinning the ball at 2,600 or 2,700 in Houston, I know exactly what happened,” Bauer wrote.
Cole, who went 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA in his first season with the Yankees, isn’t the only high-profile pitcher implicated by Harkins in the lawsuit.
HArkins also claimed that MLB has evidence implicating several star pitchers including Cole, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber and Adam Wainwright for using foreign substances to improve their grip on the ball.
Harkins was fired in March, “three days after the league issued a memo to teams saying it would be enforcing a long-ignored policy forbidding the use of illegal substances to enhance a pitcher’s grip.
Cole was signed to a $324 million deal in 2019.
Gerrit Cole's fingers literally stick to his hat here… Bro… 😂 pic.twitter.com/eYzAkHbtaF
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) August 8, 2020
Gerrit cole showing up to spring training. pic.twitter.com/ugYeKLHiMY
— Mikie Simpsoñ (@Simpsonator10) January 8, 2021