Ethics Dunce And Revealed Jerk: Former Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole
I’ve never seen anything like it.
Gerrit Cole’s team, the Houston Astros, had just suffered a shocking defeat in the 2019 World Series at the hands of the underdog ( and significantly inferior) Washington Nationals. Cole had won the last Astros victory in Game 5 in impressive fashion, but his team returned home to Houston—where they had the best home record in baseball— to lose their third and fourth consecutive games in their own stadium (they had never lost more than three straight all year) and become the only team in World Series history to lose in seven games without winning a single home game.
The script for players on losing World Series teams is old and well-established. They say that they are proud of their team and team mates. They say that they wish the team could have won a championship for its fans, the best fans in the world. They say they are heartbroken, but that they salute the victors. This isn’t hard.
But Gerrit Cole, after the final game of the 2019 World Series, appeared on TV wearing the cap of his agent’s company, and said, “I’m not an employee of the team.” Continue reading
Monday Evening Ethics Feature, 10/28/2019: Boo! Lyric Woking! Name-Calling! And Much, Much Worse…
1. World Series ethics observations:
- It was little noticed, but Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole did something admirable and unusual last night on the way to dominating Washington Nationals hitters and leading his team to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. At one point in the game, Nationals first-baseman Ryan Zimmerman laid off a tantalizing pitch just off the plate with two strikes on him. Cole could be seen saluting the batter and saying “Good take!” It is rare to see a baseball player acknowledge an adversary’s skill on the field.
I wouldn’t mind seeing such gestures more often.
- The President not only attended the game last night, but stayed unusually long for a dignitary, who usually go to baseball games to be seen more than to watch. Trump stayed until the 8th inning, when much of the discouraged Nats fandom was streaming to the exits. I wrote last week that I hoped he would subject himself to the fans’ ugliness, and they responded as we knew they would, loudly jeering and chanting “Lock him up!” It was a black eye for Washington, D.C., not President Trump.
For non-fans with the imagination to explore them, the Ethics Alarms baseball posts usually involve interesting ethics issues that are relevant to other fields. Perhaps no such post exemplifies this more than the recent essay reacting to a controversy after the 2019 World Series. The favored Houston Astros had lost in shocking fashion to the underdog Washington Nationals in a dramatic seventh game, and its ace pitcher, Gerrit Cole, apparently couldn’t wait to shed his Astros jersey and announce his free agency, which is widely expected to provide him with more than a third of a billion dollars. While the rest of his team was consoling each other and licking their wounds, Cole donned the cap of his super-agent’s company, and proclaimed that he was no longer on the team.
Ethics Alarms veteran commentator Glenn Logan was previously a distinguished sports blogger—though concentrating on college basketball, not baseball—and he authored the following Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Dunce And Revealed Jerk: Former Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole”: