Fastball, changeup or curve? Inside or outside, high or low? Slide step or full leg kick? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variables a pitcher considers over the course of a nine-inning game. Decisions, decisions.
For UCLA’s Gerrit Cole, one particular decision—made with consideration, due diligence and enough counsel to satisfy any strategic thinker—has come to define who he is as a baseball player. Selected in the first round of the 2008 Major League draft, Cole was in a position to start his professional career with a seven-figure signing bonus and fulfill his childhood dream of playing for the New York Yankees.
But he said no.