BOSTON, MA – Thanks to going only two innings, allowing three runs, four hits and recording just three strikeouts in the New York Yankees 6-2 AL Wild card Game loss to the Boston Red Sox, Gerrit Cole proved to be a $324 million flop.
Cole, the biggest prize in free agency, was signed by the Yankees to win the type of big games that Cole proverbially withered away in faster than Yankees general manager Brian Cashman could send him his record-breaking deal.
In a video clip that has already been seen numerous times, and likely to be played non-stop, Cole was caught in 4K saying, “I’m out!” before sheepishly being pulled and walking to the visitor’s dugout in shame.
Losing in September never goes over well in the BX. Losing to the Red Sox will earn you an off-season of contempt and criticism from the relentless New York media and fans that’ll make the paparazzi look like a Boy Scout convention, losing and seemingly checking out the way Cole did up in Fenway last night will likely force him to go into exile in the North pole to defrost.
New York fans are demanding, harsh and expect nothing short of a championship. Every year. Period.
When you put on the pinstripes for arguably the most successful—and reviled—sports franchise in American team sports, you are expected to perform at the level that the Steinbrenner’s expect. Cole failed the Yankees last night.
Very few sports fanbases can stomach their team signing a pitcher such as Cole to that kind of money, only to get that level of pathetic output in a playoff game, especially if it’s against that team from Boston.
During their World Series titles in the 90’s there were clutch moments where a player became a “true Yankee”, meaning that when called upon, a player would deliver a clutch hit, strikeout or save. Names such as Mariano Riviera, Derek Jeter, Scott Brosius, Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams, etc. earning that honor in always coming through.
With the season now over, and an off-season of contempt ahead of him, while it may be too late to refund back some of his lucrative deal, Cole will have a long, cold and bitter winter to dwell on how he’ll become a true Yankee in New York.