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Thursday, January 07, 2021

Fired Angels employee Bubba Harkins names Cole, others he says used his illegal product

The text message from then-Houston Astros star Gerrit Cole to former Angels visiting clubhouse manager Brian “Bubba” Harkins was sent Jan. 17, 2019, at 11:39 a.m.

“Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole, I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation,” the pitcher wrote, adding a wink emoji. “We don’t see you until May, but we have some road games in April that are in cold weather places. The stuff I had last year seizes up when it gets cold.”

The exchange between Cole, now the New York Yankees ace, and Harkins, who was fired last March for providing illegal ball-doctoring substances to visiting pitchers, was submitted in Orange County Superior Court as evidence Thursday by an attorney claiming Harkins was made a “public scapegoat” in baseball’s efforts to crack down on the use of foreign substances.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2021 at 11:57 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: foreign substances, gerrit cole

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   1. The Duke Posted: January 08, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#5998238)
This is an area I don’t really understand. They have rosin bags - does this mean the team or player is substituting a different mixture into the rosin bag or is this like a Gaylord Perry, hide it on your body thing ?

Or do the catchers hide it like on molinas chest protector
   2. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 08, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#5998239)
Definitively debunks the myth of clean Cole.
   3. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 08, 2021 at 11:02 AM (#5998260)
Duke - Yeah that's been my confusion over this too. I think it's the Pineda thing, no one really cares as long as you aren't blatant and stupid about it. Actually I've read that some hitters are happy for the pitchers to have a little better grip since they aren't keen on someone throwing 98MPH and having the ball slip out of their hand in the direction of the hitter's head.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 08, 2021 at 11:05 AM (#5998261)
This is an area I don’t really understand. They have rosin bags - does this mean the team or player is substituting a different mixture into the rosin bag or is this like a Gaylord Perry, hide it on your body thing ?

Or do the catchers hide it like on molinas chest protector


I think all of the above.
   5. The_Ex Posted: January 08, 2021 at 11:06 AM (#5998262)
I understand its hidden on the body or equipment. On the hat, on the arm, glove or uniform.

Just watch the pitcher and where he touches before every pitch.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#5998263)
Actually I've read that some hitters are happy for the pitchers to have a little better grip since they aren't keen on someone throwing 98MPH and having the ball slip out of their hand in the direction of the hitter's head.


I have heard this too, but isn't this also likely the cause of greater spin rates which help velocity and movement and likely have an impact on rising strikeout rates?
   7. Astroenteritis Posted: January 08, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#5998271)
#6 That's my question, too. If this is just a better version of a rosin bag, that's fine. If it allows pitchers to significantly increase spin rate it shouldn't be allowed.
   8. Rally Posted: January 08, 2021 at 12:08 PM (#5998294)
Pathetic. Good organizations sometimes hire cheaters too, but they at least hire ones who help the home team.
   9. BillWallace Posted: January 08, 2021 at 01:43 PM (#5998350)
Is this kind of cheating not really a big deal?

Bauer called this out a few years back, said he wasn't doing it but Cole and others were and getting an advantage. Minor news ripple then it dies.

Now in his FA year Bauer increases his spin rate 250rpm across the board, wins the Cy. Basically if no one's going to do anything then I'll do it too and get paid.

WHERE HAVE I SEEN THAT BEFORE IN SAN FRANCISCO'S LEFT FIELD?

At least this one isn't going to cause high school kids to shrivel their own balls I guess. Still, it would be nice to have some sort of accountability somewhere in life.
   10. The Duke Posted: January 08, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#5998353)
9. This is one that seems like a matter of degree. And in situations like that, it’s hard to know where to draw a line. Sounds like the league is trying though which is why this guy got fired. Blame the pilot
   11. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: January 08, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#5998369)
Why don’t the Angels settle these matters quietly like normal billion dollar businesses? Does Moreno has some sort of humiliation fetish?
   12. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 08, 2021 at 04:40 PM (#5998413)
Wasn't there some odd story about how everyone who went to Houston increased the spin rate on their pitches? Could this be how?

And if you're a hitter, do you want pitchers to be able to throw sharper breaking pitches?
   13. ReggieThomasLives Posted: January 09, 2021 at 12:13 AM (#5998550)
I thought Alex Rodriguez was the only cheater on baseball, but it turned out to find a cheater you just need to locate a baseball player.
   14. DFA Posted: January 09, 2021 at 12:30 AM (#5998554)
I thought any form of cheating was okay?
   15. flournoy Posted: January 09, 2021 at 02:38 AM (#5998559)
Actually I've read that some hitters are happy for the pitchers to have a little better grip since they aren't keen on someone throwing 98MPH and having the ball slip out of their hand in the direction of the hitter's head.


Have you seen any hitters say this? I've only seen pitchers proffer this rationale.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: January 09, 2021 at 08:50 AM (#5998562)
Have you seen any hitters say this? I've only seen pitchers proffer this rationale.


Exactly.

In some April game in Cleveland where the temperature is a few degrees below the freezing mark, the hitters are probably fine if the pitcher is able to get a little better grip on the ball. In Los Angeles, they're not really worried that Gerrit Cole's fastball is going to slip unless he gets some help.
   17. bunyon Posted: January 09, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#5998573)
Why is a clubhouse attendant in another city helping Cole get substances? Forget cheating, this seems...very stupid. Odd. Weird. Inexplicable. I can't really wrap my head around it.

I've never thought Cole was clean - he was on the Astros, after all - but would have assumed that whatever substances he was using he would have sourced himself.

Imagine Bonds writing ahead to LA asking the clubhouse guy to score him some clear. Wouldn't make any sense.
   18. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 09, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#5998617)
He is the visiting clubhouse attendant. So his day-to-day during the season is dealing with opposing players. I'm sure its a weird dynamic to be paid by the Angels and work with visitors every day.

The openness he felt is providing this stuff both to Angels and visitors indicates what the vibe was in MLB. It was a baseball tool that players needed, so it was his job to give it to them.

   19. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 09, 2021 at 01:53 PM (#5998618)
isn't this also likely the cause of greater spin rates

That is Trevor Bauer's argument

no one really cares as long as you aren't blatant and stupid about it

Jay Howell in the 88 NLCS
   20. Buck Coats Posted: January 09, 2021 at 07:31 PM (#5998714)
Banning this stuff always seems like the easiest way to reduce strikeouts, to me.
   21. Stevey Posted: January 09, 2021 at 08:27 PM (#5998726)
Why is a clubhouse attendant in another city helping Cole get substances? Forget cheating, this seems...very stupid. Odd. Weird. Inexplicable. I can't really wrap my head around it.


Clubbies get paid so very very little by their own team that they are reliant on tips from the players.
   22. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 10, 2021 at 02:24 AM (#5998780)
OK, so how much has some one got to make before they won't cut corners, lie on their taxes, stiff employees/venders/sell pills on the side/whatever to make some more? Sure the pay's lousy, but is it ever enough?

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