Report: Gerrit Cole Impressed by Yankees’ ‘30-Pound-ish Contraption’

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: What the Yankees used to impress Gerrit Cole, Kawhi’s return to Toronto and more.

I must see the contraption!

Gerrit Cole reacts in Astros dugout

The Yankees pulled off the biggest move of an action-packed Winter Meetings, signing the best free agent available—pitcher Gerrit Cole—to a record-breaking deal. But how? 

Obviously the money was a big factor (nine years, $324 million) but the Yankees also had an effective recruiting pitch, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman

Cole, whose Syracuse-born father raised him as a Yankees fan in California, was “moved” by a sales pitch from legendary pitcher Andy Pettitte, Sherman writes, and also impressed by a mysterious “contraption” club officials presented to him during the recruiting process. 

“The Yankees provided Cole one of their favorite toys,” Sherman wrote, “a 30-pound-ish contraption shaped like home plate with a giant interlocking “NY” that when opened reveals a facsimile of Yankee Stadium, with an iPad in the middle that contains pretty much every question you would have about the franchise — from breakdowns of all 27 championship teams to where to live and have your kids go to school, etc. Again, Cole and his wife were impressed.”

I have to know more about this “contraption.” The description makes it sound like just a model of Yankee Stadium with an info-packed iPad inside. But the size of it (30 pounds!) and the “contraption” phrasing make it sound like something more complex. Does it play “New York, New York” when you open the lid? Is there a tiny model of the 4 train running outside the stadium?

And who gets to see the contraption? Do they only pull it out for the big targets or did a guy like Adam Ottavino get to see it before signing a three-year deal? Do you get to keep it after the presentation?

I guess I’ll never get to see it for myself, because I can’t throw a 98 mph fastball. 


Reffing a game can be more dangerous than you think, as Lewis Garrison found out the hard way last night. 

Garrison was calling the Illinois-Michigan game in Champaign when he was inadvertently punched in the head by an over-exuberant Kofi Cockburn.

Cockburn is 7 feet tall, 290 pounds, so that can’t have felt good. Garrison was taken to an emergency room as a precaution. Let’s hope he’s alright. 

The best of SI

Baylor’s Matt Rhule is probably jumping to the NFL next year, but where? ... The first NBA draft Big Board is out, with Georgia’s Anthony Edwards at the top. ... The AAC is stuck serving as a farm system for coaches to jump to bigger schools.

Around the sports world

ESPN is reportedly interested in hiring Curtis Granderson as an in-game analyst. ... A scientific study commissioned by MLB had some interesting findings about how the baseballs differ. ... Drew Magary profiled Stephen A. Smith for GQ.

Toronto still loves Kawhi

Ja Morant embarrassed Aron Baynes

They’re gonna get all the dirt

This needs to happen

The cops let Darnell Dockett off with a warning because he wanted the Cardinals to beat the Eagles

Most highlights can be improved this way

I didn’t know sumo wrestlers could be this skinny

He’s a hockey player, not a mathematician

Not sports

A Michigan man who sawed off his thumb had it replaced with one of his toes. ... A squirrel stole somebody’s Amazon package off their porch. ... Archaeologists in Indonesia discovered the oldest known cave paintings, 44,000 years old.

Turning a log into a coffee mug

“Do I have a Christmas movie?”

Alexa for rednecks

Daniel Radcliffe in a prison break movie? Sign me up

A good song

Email with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.