Gerrit Cole called out Major League Baseball in its attempt to regulate foreign substances after struggling to keep a firm hold of the baseball during his start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
"It's so hard to grip the ball," a frustrated Cole said. "For Pete's sake, it's part of the reason why almost every player on the field has had something, regardless if they're a pitcher or not, to help them control the ball."
This was Cole's first start since Major League Baseball sent a memorandum detailing enhanced enforcement of Official Baseball Rules 3.01 and 6.02(c) and (d), which prohibit applying foreign substances to baseballs. Those foreign substances are frequently used to doctor baseballs for increased spin rates.
Cole added: "We are aligned in a lot of areas with the commissioner's office on this. ... Please, just talk to us, please just work with us. I know you have the hammer here. But we've been living in a gray area for so long. I would just hate to see players get hurt. I would hate to see balls start flying at people's head. I had a really tough time gripping the baseball tonight, especially early when it was windy. I don't really care to be inflammatory here, so I am just going to leave it at that."