Are we in agreement that this was intentional? Think about Gerrit Cole's standing in Pittsburgh. He's coming off the best season of career, but it was tainted by an all too forgettable performance in the Wild Card game against a division rival. Now he's got close to 4.00 ERA to go along with a losing record to kick off 2016. Not saying he's going to get run out of town for a mediocre start, but maybe he's losing a little bit of favor with the fanbase.
Well, nothing gets you back in the fans' good graces quite like being relatable, and there's no better way to relate to the people of Pittsburgh than by guzzling tall boys, banging on the glass, and deliberately causing a disturbance to the opposition. As a starting pitcher, Gerrit Cole knows all too well how much it sucks to get heckled yet he went out of his way to do it to the Washington Capitals. He's standing on chairs. Facing the crowd as he slugs down abnormally large beers. Putting on a show for the cameras. Basically just doing as much as he possibly can to get attention. That's not the type of behavior you expect from a pro athlete, and it's definitely not the type of behavior you expect from a pro athlete that had no significant ties to the city of Pittsburgh before playing there. Maybe the Southern Californian has a new found affinity for hockey after spending 4 years in The 'Burgh, but let's just say I have my doubts that he's transformed from a Cali bro to your Average Joe. I appreciate Gerrit Cole's enthusiasm, but I just can't help but think it was influenced by an ulterior motive. An ulterior motive to get the obnoxiously belligerent fans of the Steel City to give him the benefit of the doubt next time he gives 4 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings.