New Yankees teammates Josh Donaldson and Gerrit Cole have bad blood

TAMPA — Nine months after putting Gerrit Cole squarely in the crosshairs of MLB’s crackdown on sticky substances, Josh Donaldson is poised to share a clubhouse with the Yankees ace.

Cole and Donaldson became teammates with the Yankees Sunday night pulled off a blockbuster tradesent Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela to twins for Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt.

The deal comes with some rough edges that Donaldson says may need smoothing cried Cole last June for using illegal substances on the hill.

“Is it a coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s spin rate went down? [Thursday] after four minor leagues were suspended for 10 games?” the third baseman told reporters from Minnesota. “Is that possible? I don’t know. Maybe. At the same time they let the boys do their thing in this situation.”

Josh Donaldson (right) confronted new teammate Gerrit Cole (left) about his spin rate last season.
AP, Getty

In addition to the minor league suspension for use of foreign substances, MLB issued a June 3 memo to teams that the long-unsupervised rule that pitchers don’t use sticky substances on the mound would be more enforced. That night – the game Donaldson was referring to – Cole’s spin rates dropped noticeably as he was being spun around by the Rays.

On his next start – a day after he gave an embarrassing no-answer when asked if he used Spider Tack – Cole faced the Twins, beating Donaldson in each of his first two at-bats.

Donaldson, the former MVP, who called pitchers’ use of sticky substances “the next steroids to baseball ordeal,” later said he had no regrets calling out Cole, noting that he wasn’t the only pitcher was whose spin rates decreased during the first week of June. But he also noted Cole’s non-response regarding his use of Spider Tack.

“I can’t judge that,” he said. “This is him and his camp. Time will tell what happens. I’m not in his position so I don’t have to carry if I can sleep at night.”

On his first trip to the Bronx after calling out Cole, Donaldson also heard the ire of Yankees fans, who were heavily booed throughout the series last August. New Yankees teammates Josh Donaldson and Gerrit Cole have bad blood


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