Gerrit Cole says he had no clue his former Houston Astros teammates were stealing signs from the New York Yankees and the rest of MLB.
Then, John Banner called and said he wanted his famous line from his Sergeant Shultz role on “Hogan’s Heroes” back.
AP reporter Mark Didtler asked Cole how he’d answer his new teammates’ questions about the scandal. Cole said he’d go with the truth.
“I’ll just give them an honest answer, which is I had no idea of any of it going on and I didn’t see any of it,” Cole told Didtler. “So, I really don’t think I have much to apologize for.”
That’s a rather defensive statement, and no one can blame Yankees fans for reading it with skepticism.
During the offseason, MLB uncovered proof that Houston used a camera to steal signals from opposing catchers in 2017. The stolen signs were then relayed to Astros hitters via bat banging on a trash can.
Cole didn’t join Houston until 2018. But many online sleuths believe the team’s cheating system evolved to include wearable technology in the following seasons.
At the center of that conjecture is a video of Jose Altuve rounding the bases after his 2019 ALCS-winning homer. He emphatically advises his teammates not to remove his jersey, clutching it as if he’s hiding something.
A close look at the video of the Astros celebration shows someone who appears to be Cole hugging Altuve. He could even be helping to shield Altuve while he removes the alleged device.
But even if Cole was an accessory to the Astros’ crimes, all is not lost.
All he has to do is perform like a $324 million man while in pinstripes. That way, Yankees fans will completely forget about his connection to the quite-possibly-stolen pennant of 2019.