Gerrit Cole allegedly sought illegal product from fired Angels staffer
The Los Angeles Angels fired visiting clubhouse manager Bubba Harkins in March, and now he is spilling the beans in a lawsuit he filed in late August.
Harkins was fired early last year as MLB cracked down on the use of illegal substances on balls. Harkins, who worked as a clubhouse attendant since 1986, filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court on Aug. 28. The Angels and MLB filed a motion to have the suit dismissed on Nov. 2.
Harkins and his lawyer responded to the motion and claim Harkins was made to be a scapegoat by MLB, The Los Angeles Times says. They used a text message from star pitcher Gerrit Cole as evidence of this.
As part of evidence, Harkins’ attorney shared in court on Thursday a text message that they say Cole sent Harkins in Jan. 2019.
“Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole, I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation,” the pitcher wrote, adding a wink 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.”
The text seems to show that Harkins was fulfilling a need for opposing players by providing them with a sticky substance, which was made as a concoction of rosin and pine tar. Cole, who is now with the New York Yankees, was a pitcher for the Astros at the time of the text message.
Harkins claimed that many Angels pitchers used his substance, “including Troy Percival, Brendan Donnelly, Tyler Chatwood, Kevin Jepsen and, most recently, Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, Yusmeiro Petit, Luke Bard, Matt Andriese, Dylan Peters, Jose Suarez and Dylan Bundy.”
Harkins also says MLB has evidence pitchers like Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber and Adam Wainwright all have used foreign substances on the ball. That probably is no surprise given Trevor Bauer’s estimate regarding pitchers using illegal substances.
Once he got fired by the Angels and MLB, Harkins decided to use the court system as his line of defense. And now he’s naming names.