When the New York Yankees acquired Josh Donaldson in March, the most discussed question had nothing to do with his age, durability, or how he’d fit into a lineup loaded with right-handed hitters.
Instead, fans and talking heads alike wanted to know how Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP, would mesh with new teammate Gerrit Cole. The veteran third baseman, then playing for the Minnesota Twins, created a firestorm last June when he suggested the four-time All-Star’s spin rates dropped after the league barred pitchers from using sticky substances.
Roughly a month after joining the 27-time World Series champions, Donaldson made it clear that he and Cole have left their feud in the past.
Josh Donaldson confirmed his beef with teammate Gerrit Cole is officially over
Almost immediately after joining the Yankees in mid-March, Donaldson met with Cole in manager Aaron Boone’s office and hashed things out. Both players addressed the situation at the time, and the star pitcher even acknowledged that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called him ahead of time to inform him of Donaldson’s potential impending arrival.
“Obviously, he’s going to have certain feelings toward me. I want to hear him out. I want him to hear me out. After that, after this meeting, it’s over. That was important to me. I felt like, for me, showing him that it was important for me to hear him out.”Josh Donaldson
How much have things changed over the last month? Donaldson went so far as to say he and Cole are “boys” now.
“I love baseball. Gerrit loves baseball. He loves to talk baseball. So do I,” Donaldson continued. “At the end of the day, we’re going to have conversations, which is cool.”
Their relationship has even improved to the point where their kids recently had a playdate. Donaldson’s fiancee, Briana Miller, also hung out with Cole’s wife, Amy.
With their feud behind them, Cole and Donaldson can focus on baseball. Considering their slow starts to the 2022 season, that would likely be the right move.
Cole, who will earn $36 million this season, owns a 5.59 ERA in two starts and has already allowed three home runs. He blamed his abysmal Opening Day outing on a delayed first pitch — the game began at 1:12 p.m. ET instead of 1:08 because of ceremonial festivities — and allowed two home runs in an April 13 loss to the rival Toronto Blue Jays.
Donaldson entered play on April 15 with a .185 average and a lone RBI — one he recorded by way of a walk-off single against the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day — to his name. The two-time Silver Slugger has already struck out 11 times in 29 plate appearances.
But, hey, at least it sounds like we don’t have to worry about the two fighting in the Yankees’ clubhouse. Small victories are always nice, especially in a 162-game season.