New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is among several pitchers accused of receiving a ball-doctoring foreign substance in a lawsuit by a former Los Angeles Angels clubhouse attendant.
Brian “Bubba” Harkins was dismissed in March following a nearly four-decade run with the Angels after Major League Baseball told the organization that he was supplying a sticky substance to give pitchers a competitive advantage. The substance reportedly is a specific blend of pine tar and rosin.
In August, Harkins filed a lawsuit against the Angels and MLB, accusing both entities of unfairly depicting him as the scapegoat.
A revealing text message, which was dated Jan. 17, 2019, allegedly from Cole to Harkins has been submitted to Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court as evidence.
“Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole,” the text reads, per ESPN. “I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation (winky face emoji). We don’t see you until May, but we have some road games in April that are in cold weather places. The stuff I had last year seizes up when it gets cold …”
Per the Los Angeles Times, Harkins alleges that Major League Baseball has evidence to prove Cole, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer have used foreign substances on baseballs. Several former and current Angels hurlers, including Troy Percival, Brendan Donnelly, Kevin Jepsen and Dylan Bundy, were also mentioned by Harkins.
Major League Baseball and the Angels have yet to comment on the allegations.
A Jan. 21 hearing has been scheduled to determine if the case moves forward.