It’s no secret that Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah and New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole are not the best of friends, especially after Manoah called Cole the biggest cheater in baseball history this offseason.
After another spirited tussle between the AL East rivals on Friday that culminated in more heated words, Saturday afternoon’s tilt promises to be just as entertaining when Manoah and Cole take the mound for their respective clubs.
With the two stars ready to go for the second of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Manoah doubled down on his comments ahead of the matchup.
“No,” he said when asked if he wishes he could take back any of the thing’s he said regarding Cole. “Not at all.”
Last summer, when words were exchanged between the Jays and Yankees, Manoah said “if Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time.”
A few months later in the offseason, when Serge Ibaka asked Manoah to identify MLB’s biggest cheater, the 25-year-old didn’t have to think about it for long.
“Gerrit Cole,” Manoah responded. “He used a lot of sticky stuff to make his pitches better, and he kind of got called out on it.”
It was another chapter in the brewing dislike between the two teams, and more history is being written this weekend.
“Some of the things that Alek has said between the Audi sign and other things, it’s Alek being him,” Jays manager John Schneider said. “Comments in the off-season were in a weird environment that he probably wishes he didn’t say but I think you know more so it’s just us versus them. Division opponent. It shouldn’t be singularly focused on Alek and Gerrit.”
There’s been no love lost at all between Alek Manoah’s Blue Jays and Gerrit Cole’s Yankees this season, and Saturday afternoon figures to be appointment viewing for baseball fans.
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