This past offseason, after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA with the Houston Astros* and getting flashed by some models in the World Series, Gerrit Cole Cole signed a record-breaking $324 million contract with the New York Yankees – the largest contract for a pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.
Kind of a big deal.
On Monday, the 29-year-old ace took the hill for the very first time in a game for the Bronx Bombers and, well, only those who happened to be at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa actually got to watch it.
This is Major League Baseball. Do you really need to ask why? Trevor Bauer already perfectly explained why. Lack of good leadership.
Someone else who doesn’t understand what Major League Baseball and its commissioner Rob Manfred are doing when it comes to the media is outspoken former pitcher Dallas Braden.
Braden, who in 2010 pitched the 19th perfect game in MLB history while with the Oakland A’s and has done broadcasting work for ESPN, NBC Sports California, is one of the better follows on Twitter for baseball fans due to his willingness to call out players and the league when he sees fit.
On Monday, Braden saw fit to, rightfully, lay into Major League Baseball and its commish for not airing Cole’s Yankees debut, tweeting, “For MLB to have a player sign for damn near half a billion dollars & NOT televise his first outing for his new team who just so happens to be the most storied franchise in sports HISTORY is just ANOTHER swing & miss by Uncle Manfred & the rest of the clowns in the car. #CleanItUp.”
Yes, it was just a Spring Training game, many of which have aired on TV, but the fact that the only way a baseball fan could have followed it was on Pittsburgh radio is just one more sign that the current powers-that-be in MLB still just don’t get it.
Even worse, the Yankees’ first two Spring Training games this year were both carried live on television, including one of those games on MLB Network, but Cole’s debut? Nah. We’re good, said MLB.
Oh, by the way, Cole’s second start for the Yankees on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers? Yeah, that one is going to be on TV.