The Yankees paid Garrett Cole $324 million to be one of those guys. Only he isn’t, at least not yet.
Cole is a big guy and obviously has a big arm. He shines when he reminds you of Buck Showalter’s adage: “You know someone when you see them.” But how often do you really feel that way when you see Cole, who has already made five starts this year when he gave up five runs, and another game in Detroit on a cold night when he exited the second inning? Couldn’t?
It’s not all Cole’s fault that he hasn’t been the kind of stud game changer that his old teammate Justin Verlander continues to be in Houston. Cole showed a lot of heart and stuff at the end of that short season, the night the Yankees lost Game 5 to the Rays in 2020. But when Cole was once again asked to win the kind of game he was hired to win, against the Red Sox in a wild-card game at Fenway last October, He could not get out of the third innings.
To be sure, no one is writing it, it would be nuts. He’s going to be around for a very long time. But from what we’ve seen so far, that’s not the Yankee CC Sabathia was back in 2009, the last time the Yankees won it all. Not the Game 6 that Verlander pitched against the Yankees in the 2017 American League Championship Series.
There are going to be more chances for Cole this October, because the Yankees, despite looking like they’re sinking the last 30 games — that’s a lot — are going to win the AL East. So when Cole gets the ball this time around in his first postseason, he’s going to get it in the stadium.
But let’s say it’s another Astros-Yankees ALCS showdown with all the money on the table against Verlander. who will you Invest your money?
You already know the answer.
You know who’s been in pinstripes ever since? He’s been a better Masahiro Tanaka, who the Yankees once paid half what Cole was paid, but he was brought to the stadium to be exactly the same kind of game changer.
This week the Yankees had a chance to win a series against the Mariners, a team they may face in the postseason, and one that will have Game 1 playoff starter Luis Castillo, who the Yankees coveted. And forced, at the trade deadline (and why did they do it? Because Brian Cashman, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, doesn’t think he has enough starting pitching). Cole gets the ball. It was 6-0, Seattle, after the top of the first. It was the second time this season that Cole has given up three home runs in an inning.
“There were bad pitch choices,” Cole said. “There were some bad pitches and we were punished for that again.”
When you look back at Cole’s season, you see that a quarter of his starts have been like this, when he and the Yankees have been sunk by one bad inning. But guess what? Those bad innings count. Good news, if any? For his ace six Hefty Bag starts, the Yankees have lost just two of those games, as the Yankees have eliminated Cole’s bad pitches and bad pitch selection. But you know when they can’t? in that wild-card game against the Red Sox.
There is still a lot of season left to play. Lots of opportunities for Cole in big spots, maybe even when the Mets come to Yankee Stadium. Not that he’s having a bad year. He just isn’t having a good year. $324 million is not year. Is it unfair to decide against his contract? no it is not. You are who your records say you are on a payday. His record so far this season is 9-4, with a 3.56 earned run average, still one of the best in the game this season.
Here’s what Seattle manager Scott Servais had to say about Cole’s mound opponent Castillo last Wednesday afternoon:
“Thought he was great. Couldn’t be more excited about what he’s going to bring to our ball club, stability, confidence every fifth day with the ball and stuff.
And here’s what Aaron Boone had to say about Cole’s six-run first inning:
“Just a tough inning where he was just struggling to find his command and his rhythm and get all his pitches. Unfortunately, we are behind eight balls there and then pitched very well from there.
Again: That’s right in August. It doesn’t work that way in October. My Yankee fan friend PC, hardly an alarmist, emailed me this after the Seattle game:
“Would you be surprised if Cole started taking them out of things in Game 1 of the ALDS?”
Cole is just 31 years old, turning 32 in September, which is six years younger than the Mets’ Mr. Scherzer, who showed you exactly that in Game 1 between the Mets and the Yankees last week. What does one look like? Cole had a similar reaction to going out in a big game and having someone like Josh Beckett against the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series against the Marlins, when Beckett basically said, “Here it comes, see. That you can kill him.”
No one is writing off Garrett Cole, not with his abilities. He has shown flashes of brilliance, and looks world-beating at his best.
Again: There’s a full season left, as is his contract with the Yankees. He’s not just talented, he’s always accountable, and that matters in a big city, to some degree. He’s going to have a lot of opportunities to be one of those guys, to be what Scherzer clearly is all over town. But to paraphrase an old line from the late, great George Young, it’s time for the Yankee ace to start ace-ing.
A precious email from Vin, Nothing to Love with Phil and The Wrong Judge on Deshan…
Here’s another email I once received from my friend Vin Scully, from a collection of emails I’ll always remember him leaving.
I asked him to compare the experience of fans coming out for the Shohei Ohtani experience to the way fans once gathered at Dodger Stadium to watch Fernando Mania with Mr. Valenzuela:
“Fernando fans treated the visit to Dodger Stadium like a religious experience. There was a sense that a Mexican family took their children to the game to be inspired by a poor Mexican boy who became great. At least. That’s how I saw it in the 80s. As for Ohtani, that remains to be seen.
As always, you see his words and hear them immediately, in the most unforgettable baseball voice of them all.
Daniel Vogelbach: Rising Baseball Folk Hero.
Is Kevin Durant happy yet?
I’ll just keep asking until I’m sure he is.
Tuesday night’s election results, especially in places like Arizona and Michigan, felt like bottom feeders’ ball.
So, wait, these Yankees can’t be the ’27 Yankees?
Or the ’98 Yankees?
Hey, we are children because we love.
Well, kind of.
So now these Blood Money Tour grifters want their Blood Money and they want to compete in the FedEx Playoffs?
It doesn’t work that way.
Or at least it shouldn’t be.
It is worth noting that Phil Mickelson has named himself in a lawsuit filed by grifters against the PGA Tour.
It’s just one more episode for Mickelson to outgrow the goodwill and even the love he built up after winning the PGA at age 50.
Another thing on a Saudi tour that has as much drama as your country club member-guest:
Name one player whose best golf is ahead of him.
Pretty quiet on the Daniel Jones front so far in Giants training camp.
I’m going to remind everyone who thinks the Mets didn’t do enough at the trade deadline to please remember that when the Red Sox won it all in 2004, here were the two players they traded away. The deadline was raised by:
I know what the rules say about tampering, but it doesn’t make sense that the tampers in this case—the Dolphins—act the way they do, the tampers—Tom Brady—without any Scratches go away.
It’s usually hard to side with the National Football League on almost anything, but Roger Goodell is on the right side of the league’s appeal of Deshaun Watson’s suspension.
Just because a judge gave Watson a soft spot to land, doesn’t mean she was right.
Kelvin Ridley, the wide receiver, received $1,500 a season for legal parlay wagers on games he was not involved in, and Watson received six games for inappropriate behavior with more than two dozen massage therapists. are
This is not a correct decision.
It’s a pillow fight.
Watson should be gone for the entire season.
by the way?
My friend Stanton wants to know something: If you think Watson is getting a pass like this, at least for now, what does Washington owner Daniel Snyder think about the pass?
My parents are celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary this Friday.
It’s a number that fits both of them perfectly, which means a miracle and something to celebrate for the wonderful married life that began in 1950.