TAMPA, Fla. – The Yankees' new ace Gerrit Cole finally revealed his thoughts on the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal on Thursday.
Gerrit Cole delivered his first press conference of the spring this afternoon, fielding questions surrounding his second day at Yankees' camp. With the Astros' sign-stealing scheme still a hot, pertinent topic of discussion around the baseball world, Cole addressed the scandal right off the bat.
"My feelings really haven’t changed much," Cole said. "Nobody is getting a win out of this. It doesn’t look very good. I guess I'm just fortunate to be able to be here and move past this and get to experience all the good things about coming to a new team and all that kind of stuff."
Before signing with the Yankees this offseason, Cole had spent the previous two seasons in an Astros' uniform. Although Commissioner Rob Manfred's thorough investigation – detailing Houston's covert venture to steal opponents signs electronically – focused on the Astros breaking the rules in 2017, it also referenced similar tactics leaking into 2018 as well.
When asked if he was aware of the scheme, whether it was prior to his arrival or in the midst of his first few months with the club, Cole answered bluntly.
"No I wasn’t. I wish I could elaborate, but no I wasn’t," he said.
Across the state in West Palm Beach, at the Astros' Spring Training facility, members of the organization as well as team owner Jim Crane held a press conference of their own. Many apologized, some in a more heartfelt way than others.
To Cole, who had heard his former teammates vehemently deny the usage of 'buzzers' or any sort of illegal technology, confirmed he had no knowledge of cheating this past season and trusted the comments of those he used to play with.
" I wouldn’t have seen it or been privy to that information anyway, but I believe my ex teammates," he explained. "I believe those guys."
Yankees' skipper Aaron Boone was also asked about the comments from members of the Astros earlier in the afternoon – as for whether or not it convinces Boone that Houston committed no crime in 2019, he's still skeptical.
"It at least feels like there’s a lot of coincidental things and a lot of smoke, but can I say one way or the other what went on? Absolutely not," Boone said. "The question that was asked of me was am I sure or not and my answer is no."
Cole, who still has plenty of introductions to make in the Yankees' clubhouse in just his second day working out with the team, revealed that he has no feelings of negativity from his new teammates. He has yet to speak about his experiences in Houston with anyone in the Yankees' organization – Boone even clarified that it wasn't brought up during their meetings this winter during free agency.
Even if he had, Cole admitted that he feels he has nothing to apologize for.
"These are my teammates so we’ll have many conversations along the way," Cole said. "If that happens to be one of them, I’ll just give them my honest answer which is I had no idea of any of it going on, I didn’t see any of it."
For Boone, moving on to their third day of Spring Training together, it's about time to move on and focus on what this club can do to win a World Series this fall.
"At some point here very shortly, I’m not even going to address it anymore," the Yankees' manager explained. "We started today, the first full day of pitchers and catchers – that’s my focus. I'm kind of past and over this stuff. There’s going to be people that draw their own conclusions, speculate, have opinions, make judgements, that’s for everyone to personally do now."
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