Count Gerrit Cole as one of the few people who, during this profound economic downturn, received a promotion.
He arrived in The Bronx last December with the mission of saving (or at least elevating) his new team. He kicks off his second pinstriped spring training on Saturday, at Yankee Stadium once again, as a savior of his entire sport.
The $324 million right-hander became a father on Tuesday, and little Caden Gerrit Cole won’t be the only person looking to him for much-needed guidance, leadership and fun. With Major League Baseball having taken the ugliest path possible to an attempted restart from the coronavirus shutdown, its biggest stars must bulldoze the most dirt to get the game back on track. MLB appreciates this reality well enough that it wants Cole’s Yankees debut to occur in prime time July 23 at the home of the defending champion Nationals.
“I’m here to take that burden on and take it in stride,” Cole said Friday in a Zoom call. “I’m honored to do it, and I’ve prepared this entire summer to be put in that position. So I fully expect to be ready to go.”
He spoke — and broke the news of his new family member — shortly after reigning…