SPANISH HARLEM – Yesterday was the Gerrit Cole introductory press conference for the big deal he signed with the New York Yankees.It was also my first time getting to know Cole the person and not just the pitcher I have seen from afar. It was interesting and if you’re a Yankees fan, you are super pumped and excited to add someone of his caliber but you also had to come away impressed with some of the things he said to questions that were asked.
One of the first things that caught my attention was the answered he gave about the pressure that comes with pitching on the Yankees. He stated, “pressure is a privilege” and I found that to be a unique answer and showed he very much understood that as one of the best pitchers in baseball, there will be pressure on him to succeed in New York. Many pitchers have signed deals with the Yankees, only to flatter under the bright lights. The Yankees will always have that pressure to win, as they are the Major League Baseball’s most accomplished franchise and even in down years, the fans always want them to produce to their best and means championships. Cole realized that as soon as he decided to be a Yankee, and the fact that he talked about getting to 30 championships may have seemed irresponsible, that’s exactly the type of answer you want from someone that is one of the best in the game.
Another great thing that fans got to see was the iconic poster that Cole had as a kid in Arizona for the 2001 World Series. It was a photo that was taken and showed a young Cole with a poster that read “Yankee Fan Today Tomorrow Forever”. It seems his father had it stored in a closet and brought it to him after he agreed to a deal with the Yankees. Now that’s awesome and it was the perfect occasion to bring that poster back out. It showed fans that not only did he really love the Yankees but that he was also willing to have a little fun with the media.
Something tells me this guy gets it and will be as dominant as expected when he dons the pinstripes this season. I know a lot of people will write columns if he has a couple bad starts in a row and he will be booed at some point in his career but that’s what comes with playing in New York. All in all, I think this was the move the Yankees had to make to win a World Series with the young core they have. The years and money were and will be a lot going forward but that won’t matter much if the Yankees can add a couple of championship before that contract is up.
All hail the new Ace of the Yankees, Gerrit Cole.