New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole shared his thoughts on MLB’s service-time manipulation which was brought to light during the controversial videos involving former Seattle Mariners president Kevin Mather, whose inflammatory comments included free agency as well.
Mather resigned on Monday and issued an apology for his remarks. Mather also criticized the English-speaking capabilities of two members of the Mariners organization, and some of the Mariners’ top prospects not starting the season with the team as a way to manipulate their major league service time.
In the wake of the controversy, Cole urged every player in the league to “wake up and read the news on the guy in the Mariners”, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera. Cole is one of eight players serving on the MLB Player’s Association’s executive subcommittee.
“It’s just tired,” Cole continued. “It’s tired, man, and I think players are over it. And if they haven’t been awakened to that type of behavior, that’s what goes on.”
“Those conversations are being had, and unfortunately that’s the kind of way a lot of clubs are acting,” Cole said. “That’s just not productive for anyone. It’s not productive for the product. You’re not putting the best players on the field for people to see. This guy’s talking about players that are making him money. The product is the people that he’s talking poorly about.”
“I’m fortunate to be in an organization where we don’t do that or play that. When guys are ready, or we feel like they’re ready to impact the club, that’s that. And that’s how we treat things around here,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “If somebody is truly being held down, I think that’s terrible. There are certain times where it’s a little more gray, but purposely holding a guy down I don’t think should have a place in our game.”
“It’s tough to hear because, as a player, I’ve always wanted to have the best product out there on the field” Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said. “This is about winning this championship. And it doesn’t matter if you’re 40 years old, if you’re 18 years old, if you’re the best player at that position, you should get that opportunity.”
“It’s saddening to hear those comments coming from a guy in that position” Judge continued. “It’s sad to see, and I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what comes out of this. It’s tough. It’s your dream to play professional baseball and play in the major leagues, and getting cut out of that based on certain manipulations, I don’t think that’s right.”