Gerrit Cole's day job is pitching for the New York Yankees
, but during a news conference
on Tuesday, he acted like a tap dancer.
It began when New York Post columnist Ken Davidoff asked Cole directly if he was cheating: "Have you ever used Spider Tack while pitching?"
Spider Tack is a sticky substance that weightlifters openly use to improve their power grip, but many Major League pitchers have been accused of using it to increase their spin rate, despite the fact that it is officially banned in the sport.
Last week, Minnesota Twins
third baseman Josh Donaldson claimed Cole was using foreign substances to gain a competitive advantage.
“Is it a coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s spin rate numbers dropped (last Thursday) after four minor-leaguers were suspended for ten games?” Donaldson asked, according to The Athletic.
Cole will take the mound against the Twins on Wednesday night, but despite having days to respond to Donaldson's allegation, he couldn't answer directly when asked if he had used the banned substance.
“I don’t quite know how to answer that, to be honest,” he told 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.”
The exchange can be viewed below.
Gerrit Cole on whether 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
According to Mediaite, Cole's response options were limited:
If he said "yes," Cole would face a possible suspension; if he said "no," the consequences could be severe if he was caught lying. Worse than the "I don't know," was the long pause, which became the most damning moment for Cole.
Despite this, many Twitter users believed Cole's non-answer provided a plethora of answers.
Joe (@JoeRiveraSN) June 8, 2021 https://t.co/NWLMyQVC17
Yikes. Not good https://t.co/wxCdwND9C7
— tae kim (@firstadopter) June 9, 2021
YES without saying Yes. https://t.co/2Ro8NYtRbK
— Carlo Colaiacovo (@CarloColaiacovo) June 8, 2021
THE WORD YOU WERE LOOKING FOR WAS "YES," GERRIT https://t.co/rTy2Avbsn6
— Craig Elsten (@619sports) June 8, 2021
If the guy who got paid $324 million is using sticky stuff, you can bet the majority of the other pitchers are as well. https://t.co/GVLYRF4xWJ
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 8, 2021
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) June 8, 2021
When my wife inquires as to why the unfolded towels have been in the dryer for three days, I respond, "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