Earlier today, close to 11:00 AM EST, the New York Yankees held their official press conference announcing and introducing the new ace of the staff, Gerrit Cole (#45).
In what was a 10-person dais (!), along with VP of Communications Jason Zillo, the Yankees had just about every major part of the front office or coaching staff in attendance, including (from left to right): Pitching Coach Matt Blake, VP/Assistant GM Michael Fishman, COO Lonn Trost, Player Agent Scott Boras, Owner Hal Steinbrenner, President Randy Levine, GM Brian Cashman, Manager Aaron Boone, Gerrit Cole, and Amy Cole.
In what came out to be just about a 30 minute long press conference, I think it is safe to say that Gerrit Cole did just about everything right to win over both the fanbase and New York media.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
Video of the Press Conference:
If you’d prefer to watch on YouTube, click here for the official Yes Network coverage.
Today’s press conference started at approximately 11:00 AM (EST), taking place in the Legends Club at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees Vice President of Communications, Jason Zillow, started the event with an introduction about each member of the 10-person dais, highlighting how Scott Boras has effectively run this offseason. After that, he handed off the microphone to GM Brian Cashman.
Brian Cashman spoke about the Yankees pursuits of Gerrit Cole from his original drafting in 2008 (28th Overall), to trying to trade for him from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and now signing a deal with him in free agency.
Cashman then spoke about Cole’s background and experiences around the league and postseason, and how that speaks to the thought and care that Cole puts into his work. Cashman also mentioned how, while this is a record breaking deal, there will be some ups-and-downs along the way as they go for the World Series trophy.
At that point, Cashman gifted Amy Cole a bouquet of flowers courtesy of the New York Yankees and brought up Manager Aaron Boone to the podium.
Boone spoke about getting to know Cole over the entire recruiting process, emphasizing his great personality, intelligence about the game, and how he would fit into the Yankees culture and clubhouse. He was also highly receptive of Cole’s ability to explain how he does what he does within the pitching world, from his mechanics and approach, to the little things that may go unnoticed by others.
It was at this point that Cole first donned the Yankee pinstripes, wearing number 45- formerly of Luke Voit.
Cole then went up to the podium, but before speaking asked for his agent and Hal Steinbrenner- along with his wife- to stand with him, as he unveiled the poster he made as a kid and brought with him to a 2001 World Series game.
Cole then got into speaking about his journey that has now led him to the New York Yankees, thanking people from his background: his family, his many teammates at UCLA, in Pittsburgh, and Houston, his coaches, Scott Boras, Marvin Miller, Curt Flood, among others. He then spoke to thanking the Steinbrenner family, Brian Cashman, former Yankees head scout Damon Oppenheimer, and other members of the organization.
At that point came the many questions from the media:
Videos of Cole Answering the Media:
After the Press Conference:
Lot’s of news, information, and more about the Gerrit Cole signing and what’s to come for the Yankees, came out after the press conference.
The Yes Network did quick interviews with various members from the dais, all of which are on YouTube, or can be found by clicking on their names: Gerrit Cole, Randy Levine, Hal Steinbrenner, Aaron Boone, Matt Blake, Scott Boras, and Brian Cashman.
If you have time, click through and listen. A lot of stuff is repeated from the press conference itself from those who spoke, but it’s still interesting to hear the different perspectives on the signing. Additionally, in Brian Cashman’s interview he talked about the Phillies signing of Didi Gregorius.
Outside of these interviews- including from those above- a few major quotes have been circled as the highlights of what came out of this press conference:
The wine the Yankees gave Gerrit Cole at their meeting was the kind of Masseto merlot he drank with his wife on a trip to Florence, Italy. An ’04 bottle. The Yankees knew about it bc Cole had once told their clubhouse manager, Lou Cucuzza, about the trip. — Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) December 18, 2019
Not only did the Yankees acquire a $1,000 bottle of wine as a way to pursue and convince Gerrit Cole of coming to the Bronx, but this truly did show the time, effort, and energy that the Yankees organization put in towards Cole in trying to make him their man. Along with the “30-Pound Contraption” from above’s final press conference tweet, it shows how dedicated the Yankees are when they are trying to get their man.
Again, this speaks to the lengths the Yankees go to make their players feel welcomed. If not, I’m sure former players like Andy Pettitte wouldn’t be doing the things he does with helping recruit.
This also shows how comfortable I believe Gerrit Cole is going to be with the New York press. Even during the conference, he knew when it was appropriate to answer with small jokes, and this was another good one he got out there.
Cole during interview with Bob and Jack: “We need to win a World Championship, and ideally more than one. … Let’s try to get over 30.” — Seth Rothman (@SethDRothman) December 18, 2019
So…Cole’s looking to go on a four-peat sometime soon? I’d be a big fan of that.
Hal Steinbrenner: “We need to win some World Championships, and I believe we’re going to do that sooner rather than later. I believe we’re going to do that. Plural.” — Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 18, 2019
At this point, it’s time to start the #CountTowards29. This move did make the Yankees the favorites for winning the World Series, and their attitudes about everything have me extremely excited for whats to come.
Nice to see that Hal Steinbrenner- as we already guessed and could see with the $324,000,000 figure he gave to Cole- was comfortable with this decision. As Randy Levine was talking about in his post-conference interview, Hal is a very analytic guy, and okaying a move like this shows that the Yankees are very comfortable with how they have constructed this team.
Cole mentioned in his interview with Bob Lorenz and Jack Curry that he didn’t want to put forth the information about what was exchanged between himself and Voit for the jersey number 45, so it’ll be interesting if both parties ever open that up to the public. Regardless, this is a very cool gesture by Voit and a great new uniform number to pick.
That’s all I have to say about the interview without writing a college thesis about every little detail from it.
This has been a very exciting day for Yankees fans, and I cannot wait for spring training. 99 Days to go!
Make sure to wish your loved ones and those closest to you a very Happy Gerrit Cole Day! — Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) December 18, 2019