It may be the offseason, but Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah is still taking shots at Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. Manoah recently joined former Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka on Sportsnet's "How Hungry Are You?" podcast, and during the interview the pitcher revealed that he believes Cole is the "worst cheater" in baseball history.
"Gerrit Cole," Manoah responded after Ibaka asked who he thinks the biggest cheater in MLB is. "He used a lot of sticky stuff to make his pitches better, and he kinda got called out on it."
Manoah has a point regarding Cole and sticky stuff.
In 2021, Major League Baseball cracked down on pitchers using foreign substances and began to regularly check pitchers for them. Cole had been heavily criticized for his alleged use of one of those substances, Spider Tack, in recent years, and he never denied using it.
The suspicions around Cole led to this super awkward response when he was asked if he used Spider Tack in 2021:
The other part of this all is that Manoah and Cole have some unpleasant history together.
During a game in August, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge was hit by an inside pitch by Manoah. Nothing occurred between the two teams, but Cole shouted back-and-forth with Manoah after Judge was plunked.
"I think if Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time,", referring to the Audi advertisement that sits just in front of Yankees' home dugout.
The next time Cole and Manoah face off will certainly be must-see television for baseball fans.
Manoah is coming off of a phenomenal season in 2022. He posted a 16-7 record to go along with a 2.24 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 196 2/3 innings. Cole went 13-8 with an unusually high 3.50 ERA -- which is his highest ERA since the 2017 season when he pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates -- but he led the entire league with 257 strikeouts.